Dispute Resolution Lawyers
Commercial disputes are disruptive, can damage relationships, and cause significant financial loss. Our commercial litigation lawyers in Melbourne are experienced negotiators and provide expert advice, guidance, and representation in all Australian courts and tribunals for a range of commercial disputes.
We will work with you to devise strategies to resolve your matter in the most cost effective and pragmatic way possible. We can assist with:
- contract disputes
- partnership disputes
- corporate / director / shareholder disputes
- disputes concerning mergers and acquisitions
- debt recovery and insolvency disputes
- whistleblower proceedings and protection
- defamation proceedings
- copyright and intellectual property infringement disputes
- cybercrime proceedings
- Supreme Court injunctions
- freight disputes
- Administrative law including constitution and election disputes
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Many commercial disputes can be resolved using alternative dispute resolution processes such as mediation, conciliation, and negotiation. Alternative dispute resolution is generally less formal and less expensive than litigation and can offer more flexible solutions than what might be achieved in court. If mediation does not resolve the matter completely, it may still prove beneficial in narrowing the issues in dispute. The process can also help preserve the commercial relationship between businesses that may have continuing contractual obligations with each other.
In most cases, we will recommend alternative dispute resolution to resolve your commercial matter and consider a range of options to achieve a viable, effective solution.
If mediation is unsuccessful or not viable in your circumstances, we will provide a strategic plan outlining the cause of action or defence, and the possible outcomes based on an assessment of the facts and evidence available to support your case.
Litigation refers to the commencement of legal proceedings with the aim of resolving a disputed matter through a court. 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 parties to the dispute may comprise individuals, corporations, government bodies or other entities.
A cause of action must be based on a breach of legislation or the common law, and is identified in the documents filed with the court to start proceedings.
Legal proceedings can be expensive and time consuming but may be the only option if the parties to a dispute are intractable, there is a need for urgent orders such as an injunction, or when parties must defend allegations made against them.
The nature of the proceedings and monetary value of the remedy sought (where relevant) will generally determine the court or tribunal in which to file proceedings.
Going to Court
Court proceedings run to a strict timetable and litigation requires thorough preparation.
Once an action commences in court, the parties must comply with practice directions and court processes regarding the filing and service of documents, participation in dispute resolution (where relevant), the format and filing of evidence and attendance at directions hearings, status conferences and pre-trial hearings.
Evidence may be led by documents, statements, video or the like, to support the alleged breach and the strength of each parties’ evidence will be tested in the court room. Witnesses may be called to support your case or that of your opponent’s.
By the time a party instigates court proceedings, the relationship between opposing sides is already contentious. Court proceedings are complex and often involve several legal issues and areas of law. They can become protracted and expensive and have a significant impact on the health of a business and its owners.
Effective dispute resolution, whether informal or litigated, requires a comprehensive knowledge across various legal areas and strong negotiation, advocacy, and case management skills. Our litigation team works closely with clients to ensure they are appropriately informed throughout the proceedings, are aware of their options and prepared for their case.