I’m a great lover of famous sayings.

Discretion is the better part of valour

Necessity is the mother of all inventions,

Or how about my latest favourite

Assumption is the mother of all F@*k ups.

In all areas of life, it’s easy to make assumptions and some are absolutely fine.

I assume that Southampton will not win the league this year – it’s easier to get my disappointment in early.

I assume that my son will be shouting at his friends on his computer when I want to go to sleep – not a hard one given that he does it most nights.

I assume that I will eat and drink too much over Christmas – ………!

I don’t think there is anything wrong with making assumptions so long as you

  1. Recognise that there is no guarantee that the thing you have assumed will happen, actually happens and
  2. Have a back up plan – what will you do if you’re wrong.

If any of my assumptions above turn out not to be the case, there is no harm done and actually I’d be better off.  It goes along with another of my favourite sayings

       Hope for the best and prepare for the worst!

However, if I assume, for example, that I can believe everything I read in the news, or that the other side will definitely do what they promise to do (even if they have signed a contract or even given an undertaking to do so) without considering what the consequences will be if they don’t, then I’m likely to come unstuck.

At the moment I’m working with a client who is owed a considerable sum of money by a difficult opponent who clearly makes a habit (and possibly a career) out of this kind of conduct.  We have served a statutory demand and they have threatened to make an application to have the demand set aside.  There are a number of things in their letter that make me think they are bluffing, but if I assume that they are definitely bluffing, and I’m wrong, my client could be facing a big and unexpected legal bill.  It may be that even if my client knows it’s not a definite bluff, they may still call it, but I can’t assume that either.

So if your solicitor (or indeed any adviser) is spending a lot of time talking you through the options, pros and cons of your position, you may be forgiven for thinking that they are only doing that because they want to run up a big bill to explain the obvious.  Actually, they are simply trying to avoid a major SNAFU.

Kleyman & Co Solicitors.  We are a full service law firm and that’s not an assumption!