ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION (ADR)
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.
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.
Because our offices are not located in the CBD our rates are substantially lower, often up to 20% lower, than most commercial law firms.
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 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.
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
We regularly advise clients on whether mediation 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.