Generally in life there may be times when you need to call upon the services of a solicitor to deal with a dispute or other matter involving you and someone else, when these private matters do not involve the Crown or you are not dealing with a criminal action/prosecution these services usually fall under the realm of civil litigation.
Civil law therefore deals with the rights and duties of an individual towards another and how someone's actions can impede on the rights of another, actions are brought by a plaintiff and against a defendant. In general the burden of proof is upon the claimant who must prove their case "on the balance of probabilities".
Actions in a civil case are usually decided in either a County or High Court There is usually a lower burden of proof than that within a criminal case. However it is not uncommon for a civil case to be settled without court action and the two parties involved agree an a form of compensation in lieu of the grievance incurred.