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Navigate Through Commercial Litigation Challenges with Expert Legal Guidance. In the world of commercial disputes, having an expert by your side is crucial. Our team provides the expert experience needed to tackle complex litigation cases, ensuring a strategic and effective resolution. Trust us to handle your commercial litigation needs with expertise and commitment.

Melissa Care

Melissa Care
Senior Associate

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Understanding Dispute Resolution

Dispute resolution is a vast and unavoidable area of law. A legal dispute will often arise where there is a disagreement between the parties involved on an issue of fact or law. For example, where one party has failed to perform their obligations under a contract or where there is debate as to whether a contract even exists between the parties.

Legal disputes can be broadly categorised into the following areas:

  • Building and Construction
  • Debt Recovery
  • Contract Disputes
  • Company breakdown Disputes
  • Property and Lease Disputes
  • Consumer Issues
  • Other types of Disputes: Professional Negligence, Defamation Claims, Misleading and Deceptive Conduct

Our Strategic Support In Your Disputes

Disputes are a reality that can arise in any business or between individuals. They can be costly, disruptive and can affect a business’s reputation and solvency or the life and financial position of an individual. Coutts understands the importance of resolving disputes efficiently and cost-effectively in order to minimise disruption to business operations and people’s lives.

Coutts can help you resolve your dispute before it proceeds to court and will advise you of a course that is tailored to your circumstances. Coutts do not overlook the benefits of alternative dispute resolution and do not allow disputes to ‘run their course’ unless of course that is your preference.

In some instances, litigation is unavoidable, and Coutts has the knowledge and expertise to represent clients in all levels of Courts and tribunals across Australia.

Coutts will keep you informed throughout the litigation process and will work towards maximising your chance of receiving a favourable outcome, whether you are the plaintiff or the defendant.

Litigation Services Offered By Our Team

  • Commercial and contracts including breach of contracts and company break down disputes such as shareholder disputes and partnership disputes
  • Intellectual property and trademark disputes
  • Debt recovery from a letter of demand stage right through to court initiated proceedings and enforcement of judgements including navigating insolvency and bankruptcy.
  • Property including boundary disputes, fencing disputes, neighbourhood disputes, commercial lease disputes, retail lease disputes, residential tenancy disputes and strata disputes
  • Building and construction disputes for both Homeowners and Builders
  • Consumer issues including failures to provide consumer guarantees pursuant to Australia Consumer Laws or engaging in conduct that is Misleading and Deceptive.
  • Defamation Claims
  • Professional Negligence Claims


The negotiation step involves the parties attempting to resolve the dispute without any external assistance. This can be with or without the assistance of a lawyer.

Usually in the negotiation process, parties will make offers to resolve the dispute. This part of the dispute process is where most disputes are resolved and is the most cost-efficient way to resolve a dispute, provided that the parties are willing to cooperate.


In instances where the parties are not willing to cooperate, it is often the case, that the parties will proceed to court proceedings prior to undertaking mediation.

It is important to note that mediation does not necessarily take into consideration who is legally right or wrong in the dispute, instead it aims to facilitate a discussion between the parties to resolve the dispute in a way in which every party is happy.

Court/Tribunal Proceedings

Court proceedings are initiated by a statement of claim or summons, filed in the relevant court or Tribunal. The matter will then move into the formal proceedings where evidence will need to be produced for hearing, submissions made and ultimately be decided by a magistrate/judge/tribunal member.

Court and Tribunal proceedings can often be quite costly and time consuming and it is for this reason that most disputes are resolved prior to this step. It is important to note that negotiations can take place throughout court/tribunal proceedings as the evidence comes to light.

Book Your Litigation & Dispute Consultation Now

What to Expect with Coutts Lawyers

Step 1: Initial Contact

Reach out to Coutts Lawyers via our website, phone, or in person. Briefly describe your matter.

Step 2: Consultation Appointment

Schedule and attend a meeting with a Coutts lawyer / Conveyancer to discuss the specifics of your matter and desired outcomes.

Step 3: Information & Legal Advice

Share all related documents and information. Your lawyer / Conveyancer will review everything, clarify aspects as needed, and then advise on the best action course.

Step 4: Action Plan Development

Based on the advice, an appropriate action plan will be formulated. This may involve communication, documentation processes, or further legal steps.

Step 5: Implementation

Execute the action plan, addressing a range of legal scenarios as necessary.

Step 6: Resolution & Closure

Navigate towards a resolution, with the path determined by the nature of the matter. Your Lawyer / Conveyancer will outline any final actions or considerations.

Introducing Melissa

Your Experienced Lawyer

Meet Melissa, a Senior Associate at Coutts Lawyers & Conveyancers, and the head of our esteemed Commercial Litigation teams. With more than a decade under her belt, Melissa is renowned for her clarity in communication, ensuring clients comprehend every aspect. Her confident and efficient problem-solving approach, coupled with cost-effectiveness, marks her as a top authority in Commercial Litigation.

Melissa Care
Melissa Care

Connect with Melissa Today

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Litigation & Disputes FAQ’s

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.

Choosing the right lawyer is crucial for a successful outcome. When selecting a lawyer, consider their experience in the relevant area of law, their track record, their communication style, and their approach to resolving disputes.

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