Alternative Dispute Resolution
In most cases we endeavour to resolve disputes through negotiation, using alternative dispute resolution processes such as mediation, rather than going to court. This generally facilitates quicker, more flexible, cost-effective outcomes for our clients. Mediation can also help preserve the parties’ relationship which can be beneficial if they have ongoing personal or commercial arrangements.
Effective dispute resolution requires a skilled negotiator with a working knowledge across the relevant areas of law, which often overlap. Your lawyer will need to identify and narrow down the issues in dispute, apply the relevant area/s of law to the facts, and assess the strengths and weaknesses of each parties’ case to recommend strategies that deliver the most viable options in the circumstances.
The effectiveness of mediation depends on the willingness of the parties to make a genuine effort to resolve their dispute and to negotiate in good faith. Your lawyer will guide you through the relevant process and, if a settlement can be reached, formalise the agreed terms in a legally binding document.
Going to Court – when agreement cannot be reached
In some cases, attempts to resolve a dispute through mediation may be futile or there may be an urgent need to commence court proceedings. In such cases, we will advise you on the processes involved, the pros and cons of pursuing or defending a matter in court, and the likely prospects of success. This will enable you to make an informed decision.
What is litigation?
Litigation refers to the commencement of legal proceedings with the aim of resolving a disputed matter with the court’s assistance. A civil court dispute generally arises when two or more parties are unable to resolve a matter concerning their respective legal rights and obligations. The nature and value of these matters can vary significantly and accordingly, different courts (and tribunals) have been established based on the type of dispute and the monetary value of a claim.
Court proceedings are commenced by the aggrieved party (the plaintiff) filing a summons or application in the relevant jurisdiction, identifying the party against whom a remedy is sought (the defendant). The claim usually includes a statement of facts summarising the circumstances of the case, identifies the ‘complaint’ or area of law breached, and states the remedy sought.
The litigation process requires sound preparation and involves strict compliance with court formalities and technicalities regarding evidence.
Court disputes can be expensive and emotionally draining. The decision to commence or defend proceedings should be carefully considered and weighed against the likelihood of success and, if successful, the feasibility of enforcing any orders against the other party.
Our lawyers understand the impact a legal dispute can have on your life, your business and your wellbeing, and have experience also in dealing with sensitive and cross-cultural issues inherent in many international disputes. We have a track record in strategically negotiating and resolving disputes between individuals, businesses and corporations across a range of matters including:
- Commercial contract disputes
- Partnership, shareholder and corporate disputes
- Debt recovery and insolvency matters
- Consumer complaints, misleading and deceptive conduct
- Building and construction disputes
- Intellectual property disputes
- Insurance claims and professional negligence
- Leasing disputes – commercial, retail and residential
- Neighbourhood, property and planning disputes
Wherever possible, we will attempt to resolve a dispute through strategic negotiation, mediation or conciliation. We are however competent litigators and will advocate rigorously on your behalf should your matter proceed to court.