Legal Briefing -Coy briefs solicitor re COMMERCIAL
'Civil litigation', in the widest sense of the word, includes all litigation other than criminal prosecutions. However 'civil litigation' also has a narrower meaning, meaning claims in contract, or claims in tort (meaning a civil wrong, such as an act of negligence). Here we use civil in this narrower sense.
Normally a civil solicitor's job starts with an initial face to face interview with the new client. However, when the client is a corporation, the officer with responsibility for briefing the solicitor might not be a witness to relevant facts. How many people should go to the initial interview? It is difficult to know.
A corporation (a separate person in the eyes of the law) acts and thinks through one or more individual persons (directors, company secretary, executive officers) each of whom may know different parts of the big picture. This document can be assembled with input from several company officers, to set out the bigger picture, prior to an interview between the lawyer and the company officer appointed to give the briefing.
A written brief also helps because memories fade, but writing doesn't. While the witnesses' memories are fresh, the corporation can gather as as many important details as possible. It is better to say too much now, than to remember something important when the court case is almost over.
This briefing, which can also be called 'confidential written instructions', can also economise on legal costs. Normally the human eye reads about three times as fast as the normal human mouth can speak. The reader may of course go back and read something a second time, but that is less disruptive than a listener asking a speaker to repeat themselves.
Remember that most court cases are decided on the evidence rather than on the facts. If there is no evidence of the fact, then it doesn't exist in court. So start collecting the evidence sooner rather than later. That includes eye witness testimony, and relevant documents. Open up a confidential 'litigation file' and assemble all relevant documents and witness statements' your lawyer will need it.
Provided this briefing is created for the purpose of obtaining legal advice and representation, it should remain confidential at all times. Do not produce multiple photocopies if this document.