The VAST Claims Methodology

The VAST Claims Methodology is designed to maximise the value of claims (or minimise the cost of defending claims).

Maximising value as an objective is nothing new, however, you may find our approach helpful in thinking about your claim.

Furthermore, maximising value is not the be-all and end-all of our Court system. Justice does not concern itself with maximisation (or minimisation). Justice transcends such concepts.

The VAST Claims Methodology looks at how to value, assemble, settle and try claims.





A detailed discussion of the VAST Claims Methodolgy is available in our book Civil Litigation D.I.Y. and briefly summarised below.


Case valuation depends on the following factors:

  1. Liability – who is at fault / responsible;
  2. Damages – how much money is at stake;
  3. Costs – recovery of legal fees, expert fees and disbursements;
  4. Collection – the defendant’s ability to pay a judgment; and
  5. Advocacy – the knowledge, experience and ability to present a case in Court.

Case valuation depends on facts, law and advocacy.  Advocacy is key to turning facts into evidence to advance a persuasive case.


Assembling or building a case is a 3-step process:

  1. Gather information;
  2. Process information; and
  3. Present information.

Gathering information is important. Advocacy focuses on processing and presenting information.  Processing information is akin to trial preparation.  Presenting information is akin to conducting trials, where the evidence is presented.


The key to maximising (or minimising) settlement amounts is to prepare all cases for trial.  In other words, to put your best foot forward.

Settlement makes sense where a case is fully built, appropriately valued and the other parties to the claim are amenable to resolution.  If the other parties do not agree with a reasonable resolution, it is appropriate to make an offer to settle that can be beaten at trial and proceed to trial. Such an offer enables a maximum recovery of costs.


Our expertise is trial advocacy.  We consult on a significant number of pre-trial conferences, trials and arbitrations for law firms, business and individuals.

Our Trial Methodology, developed through more than a decade of trial experience, relies heavily on the 6 Trial Fundamentals when it comes to preparing for trials and conducting trials:

  1. Story – every claim needs a persuasive story;
  2. People – witnesses convey the story;
  3. Documents and things – support for the story;
  4. Law of evidence – determines what facts become evidence;
  5. Trial procedure – the steps involved in a trial; and
  6. Substantive law – what needs to be proven to succeed.

We have written books and articles on the 6 Trial Fundamentals, including HOW TO WINg A TRIAL and taught the concepts to law firms, lawyers, paralegals, law firm staff, articling students, law students and even self-represented litigants.

The VAST Claims Methodology Applied to Your Claim

We apply the above value-assemble-settle-trial methodology to every claim, with an emphasis on the 6 Trial Fundamentals. We are available to apply the VAST Claims Methodology to your claim.

The focus of our work is on civil trials before Superior Courts and in private arbitrations.  We work on Jury and non-Jury (Judge-alone) trials.

Much of our work is for law firms and lawyers to help them with pre-trial conferences, trials and arbitrations.  We also work with businesses and individuals involved in trials and civil litigation. Our services include trial consulting and trial representation.

To summarise, we help law firms, businesses and individuals value, assemble, settle and try claims for maximum value.

If the VAST Claims Methodology appeals to you in handling your claim, please get in touch to explore working together.

Trial Resources

Resources by a trial lawyer, available online:

Trial Book Trial Manual Trial Checklist Trial Forms

Trial Services

If you would like legal advice from an experienced trial lawyer:

Check out our Services Consult Trial Counsel


This website and all resources are trial information, not trial legal advice.

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The content of this website including all trial resources are © copyright. For permission to reproduce part of the website and/or trial resources please contact us.  Feedback and topic suggestions are welcome.  Thank you.