I've never been a big one for surprises.  I've rarely understood the benefits of pretending you've forgotten the special day of a loved one, such as mother’s day or a birthday or anniversary, only to spring a surprise party on them.  Somehow I can never quite believe that the joy of the surprise outweighs the sorrow of thinking that those you care about most in the world have forgotten you.
There are, of course, a few surprises that are lovely.  The unexpected gift (the best ones come in Tiffany Blue boxes, in case you were wondering), or the moment of appreciation that you weren't expecting.  On the other hand, some surprises can be a complete tragedy, such as being fired when you weren't expecting it, or winning your court case and finding you don't get all of your costs back.  What many people don't know is that even if you get a costs order in your favour, it is rare to recover more than 70% of your actual costs, and sometimes it can be much less.  There are, however, things that you can do to help yourself, such as making sure you have all of your files in order and making sure you give your solicitors very clear instructions.  I also recommend that clients keep a diary of any relevant events, to help them remember any important points.  The less work your solicitors have to do, the easier the case will be, and the less your costs will be.  You can also consider taking out an ATE insurance policy which can cover some of the costs you may incur.
If you are thinking about bringing a court case, or are being pursued through the courts, and need advice on the options and costs, drop me a line at stephanie@kleymansolicitors.com for some surprisingly clear advice.
Kleyman & Co Solicitors.  The full service law firm.  Keeping a lid on the costs.