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Commercial Litigation FAQ’s

Coutts Lawyers & Conveyancers is a powerful female-founded law firm with a core value system that puts people first. Our reputation as the legal business of choice in New South Wales is recognised by our many awards.

Melissa Care
Q&A with Melissa Care (Senior Associate, Head of the Commercial Litigation Department)

Litigation is the process of resolving disputes through the court system. You should consider initiating legal proceedings when you believe your legal rights have been violated, and other methods of dispute resolution, such as negotiation or mediation, have failed to provide a satisfactory resolution.

It’s important to discuss potential costs with your lawyer and explore cost-effective strategies, such as settlement negotiations or alternative dispute resolution methods, to manage expenses. It is also important to note that costs are not always claimable even if you are the successful party and even if a costs order is made in your favour you are unlikely to recover 100% of the costs incurred by you to pursue the claim.

The duration of litigation can vary significantly depending on the complexity of the case, court backlog, and other factors. It’s essential to have realistic expectations and be prepared for a process that can take several months or even years.

Alternatives to litigation include negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and settlement discussions. You should consider these options when you want a quicker, less adversarial, and potentially more cost-effective resolution to your dispute.

A contract dispute occurs when one or more parties involved in a contract disagree on the interpretation or fulfillment of its terms. Disputes can arise due to issues like non-payment, delays, breaches of contract, or disagreements over the scope of work or quality of goods or services provided.

If you believe the other party has breached the contract, it’s important to first review the contract terms to confirm the alleged breach. Communication is key; you should discuss the issue with the other party and attempt to resolve it amicably. If this fails, you may need to explore legal remedies, such as mediation, arbitration, or litigation.

Yes, many contract disputes can be resolved through alternative dispute resolution methods, such as negotiation, mediation, or arbitration. These methods are often faster and more cost-effective than going to court and can lead to mutually acceptable resolutions.

A company breakdown dispute occurs when the stakeholders or owners of a company disagree to the extent that it disrupts the business operations. Common causes include disputes over ownership, management, financial issues, strategic direction, or personal conflicts among partners or shareholders.

To protect your interests, it’s important to review the company’s operating agreements, bylaws, and shareholder agreements, which often outline dispute resolution mechanisms. You may also need to consult with legal counsel to ensure you understand your rights and options.

Methods for resolving company breakdown disputes may include negotiation, mediation, arbitration, or litigation. The specific method chosen depends on the severity of the dispute, the willingness of parties to cooperate, and any existing agreements that dictate dispute resolution processes.

Trade marks can protect a logo, phrase, word, letter, colour, sound, smell, picture, movement, aspect of packaging, or any combination of these. A trade mark legally protects your company’s unique brand, name of a product, or your services.

A person who owns a trademark has the ability to prevent other people from using the same or similar trade mark in Australia. It allows a company to have exclusive, registered right to use, license and sell the mark and protects a company from infringement or damage of reputation from another company.

Common types of IP include copyrights, trademarks, patents, and trade secrets. Copyrights are protected automatically upon creation, while trademarks, patents, and trade secrets require formal registration and maintenance to ensure protection.

Debt recovery in Australia typically begins with communication and negotiation with the debtor. If those efforts fail, you can proceed with legal action, which may involve filing a claim in court. The decision to take legal action depends on the circumstances and the amount of debt owed.

Legal remedies for debt recovery may include court judgments, garnishment of wages, property seizure, and the appointment of a debt collector. The specific remedies depend on the type of debt, the amount owed, and the debtor’s assets.

To resolve property and lease disputes, it is advisable to communicate with the other party and attempt to reach an amicable solution. If this fails, you may seek mediation or alternative dispute resolution services provided by relevant state-based agencies. Legal action, such as filing a claim with a tribunal, may also be an option.

The process for eviction or lease termination is governed by state or territory residential tenancy legislation. It typically involves providing notice, following the required procedures, and, in some cases, applying to a tribunal for a possession order.

A general contractor is responsible for overseeing and coordinating all aspects of a construction project. Choosing the right one involves considering their experience, reputation, qualifications, and ensuring they are licensed and insured. Requesting references and obtaining multiple quotes is also advisable.

Making a decision to build a new home or renovate an existing home can be an exciting but daunting time for many. It is essential that prior to entering into a Building Contract a Homeowner takes steps to ensure that all matters are in check before signing any formal agreement. The five steps are as follows:

  1. Check the credentials of the builder you are looking to hire
  2. Make sure that there is a written building contract in place
  3. Make sure that home building compensation fund insurance is obtained and a certificate is provided
  4. Reference check and verify
  5. Have your documents in order to minimise the risk of hidden or increased costs