Dispute Resolution

We have advised clients for 25 years on the best methods of commercial dispute resolution, conciliation, mediation, arbitration or court proceedings. 

For 25 years we have acted for businesses and companies of all sizes, builders, sub-contractors and property owners, as well as for financial institutions including the Bank of Melbourne, United Credit Union now Beyond Bank Australia, National Australia Bank, Bank of Queensland and large National Mortgage Insurer MGICA.  However this work, whilst important, has certainly not been more important to us than helping businesses of all sizes, and individuals, resolve their commercial disputes, either in court or by mediation or arbitration.

Our practice is located outside of the Perth CBD and because of this our hourly rates and fixed prices for commercial work and for litigation are 20% lower than the standard rates charged by most Perth law firms.  Our rates are extremely competitive compared to the rates charged by other commercial law firms. 

We advise on strategies that can be employed to resolve disputes without recourse to legal proceedings where possible.  This may result in a quicker and more cost effective outcome.

We assess and provide advise on:

The estimated legal costs and time to resolve, if legal proceedings are commenced;

The strengths and weaknesses of their claims and any potential counterclaims of the other party;

Quantification of their claims and any potential counterclaims of the other party; and

Prospects of success of each party if legal proceedings are commenced.

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION (ADR)

Alternative Dispute Resolution processes that may minimise the costs of the dispute and/or provide a speedier resolution such as contractual dispute resolution processes, adjudications under the Construction Contracts Act 2004 (WA) or complaints to the financial Ombudsman Service.

Commercial Litigation means commencing or defending proceedings in court involving a commercial dispute. Alternative dispute resolution encompasses all procedures available to resolve disputes outside of court.

Our clients have included individuals and businesses of all sizes.  We have also represented banks and insurance companies in complex disputes in all West Australian Courts and Tribunals.

Civil litigation proceedings can be long, complex and costly. We aim to use our experience to settle a dispute as early as possible to avoid our clients having to go to trial. If settlement cannot be achieved and proceeding to trial is unavoidable, we will ensure we achieve the best outcome for our client, as quickly and inexpensively as possible.

Disputes which regularly arise include:

  •          Disputes over contracts;
  •          Disputes between business partners;
  •          Disputes between companies;
  •          Disputes between franchisors and franchisees;
  •          Disputes between lessors and lessees;
  •          Disputes between builders and subcontractors;
  •          Disputes over trusts between beneficiaries and executors; and
  •          Disputes over contracts of sale of property.

Business disputes need to be resolved quickly. Because of the delay and expense which may occur if matters go to Court, or if there is a need to preserve business relationships for the future, the better option may be to utilize Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) techniques. There are a variety of such techniques, but the most commonly used ADR technique is mediation.

Many commercial contracts include dispute resolution clauses. These clauses compel the parties to meet and also compel the parties' solicitors to cooperate in attempting to resolve disputes without the need for litigation. It is vital that prior to the dispute resolution procedure that your case is presented to the other side in a detailed and methodical manner. If the case is presented in a strategic manner before the dispute resolution procedures are applied then documents, including letters that set out your claim may be adduced in evidence in legal proceedings in the event the matter is not able to be resolved using the dispute resolution procedures.

This offers a strong tactical advantage when faced with opposition who refuse to respond to correspondence in detail prior to the commencement of the dispute resolution procedure.

Many commercial contracts and most building and construction contracts include dispute resolution clauses that require a notice of dispute to be served on the other side when a dispute arises. The parties are then usually required to meet face to face and attempt to resolve the dispute prior to submitting to various conciliation, mediation and arbitration facilities that are available. If the matter is not able to be settled via these dispute resolution methods then the parties will always have the litigation process available to them at the conclusion of the attempt at dispute resolution.

MEDIATING DISPUTES

Mediation is a process in which an independent third person assists the disputing parties to find a mutually acceptable solution. The mediator helps the parties to resolve the dispute themselves. This process has been found to be speedy and cost effective in many instances. If it isn't successful the parties can then litigate.

ASSISTING AND REPRESENTING CLIENTS IN MEDIATION AND CONCILIATION

We regularly advise clients on whether mediation or conciliation will be suitable for their dispute, suggest appropriate mediators for that dispute and assist clients with preparation of notices of disputes, position statements or other written presentations. At mediations we represent clients in the conduct of negotiation and advise clients on the best settlement options during the mediation or conciliation.

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