Dispute Resolution 2

Dispute Resolution & Litigation

Confronting a legal dispute can present many challenges for individuals and businesses. Legal disputes can drain precious resources, put undue stress on the parties involved, and attract unwanted attention to a business or corporate entity.

Our principal has extensive experience in alternative dispute resolution processes and is a skilled litigator. We provide commercial and practical solutions for legal disputes and can represent you or your business through negotiations, mediation and, if necessary, in court.

We manage a variety of disputes, including:

  • Contract disputes – breach of contract, failure to perform or complete a contract, disputes over contract terms and provisions
  • Business and partnership disputes
  • Shareholder and company disputes
  • Property matters including disputes between co-owners, equitable claims, and resulting and constructive trusts
  • Commercial and retail leasing disputes
  • Debt recovery, insolvency, and bankruptcy matters
  • Disputed estates and contested wills

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes can provide a cost-effective and flexible method for parties to resolve a legal dispute. ADR processes include negotiation, mediation, and conciliation.


Negotiation involves the parties discussing the issues in dispute and working towards a mutually acceptable solution. Negotiation can be conducted informally directly between the parties, or it can be facilitated by third parties, such as lawyers, who negotiate on behalf of their clients to reach a mutually agreeable solution. Negotiation can be particularly effective in resolving disputes where the parties are able to communicate effectively and are willing to work together to find a solution.


Mediation involves a neutral third-party mediator who facilitates communication between the parties and assists them in reaching a mutually acceptable solution to their dispute. Mediation is usually confidential and can provide more flexibility than having a matter determined by a court. The mediator does not decide the matter but encourages the parties to explore options to reach their own resolution.

Mediation can be particularly effective in resolving disputes where there are ongoing relationships between the parties, such as family law or workplace disputes. Resolving a matter in this way can help the parties reach agreement on difficult topics while preserving their relationship.


Conciliation is a process in which the parties to a dispute try to reach an agreement with the help and advice of an impartial person, referred to as a conciliator. The conciliator usually has specific expertise concerning the matter in dispute and can advise parties of their respective rights and obligations.


Arbitration is another way of resolving a dispute without going to court, although the process is typically more formal than mediation and conciliation. The parties involved agree to have their dispute resolved by an independent arbitrator, who makes a binding decision after each party makes submissions. Arbitration can be particularly effective in resolving disputes where the parties want a decision to be made quickly, or where confidentiality is important. Arbitration may also be used to determine a specific issue in the context of an overall matter. For example, in complex disputes, an arbitrator may be appointed to determine the value of certain business interests.

Going to Court

Litigation can be a powerful tool to enforce your legal rights or defend a matter through the court system. However, litigation can be expensive and draining on the parties involved. While in most cases litigation should be a last resort for resolving a dispute, it may be the only viable option to achieve a result.

Litigation usually starts with a ‘claim’, perhaps a demand for the payment of money (compensation) or for the rectification of an agreement. Litigation might also be used to enforce compliance with a contract or to restrain someone from doing something that could cause the other person loss or damage.

The party against whom court proceedings are taken is known as the defendant and the party issuing the proceedings is the plaintiff. If the defendant does not comply with the plaintiff’s request, the matter goes to a court for a judge (or other judicial officer such as a magistrate) to determine the matter. The court can make orders to enforce its decision, such as garnishing wages to pay a debt.

Court proceedings must be taken within a prescribed time, otherwise, a claim will become statute barred. The cause of action must be clearly stated in the application or summons, and the parties will need evidence to support their case. Once court proceedings start, the matter is subject to strict case management and the parties must comply with directions and processes regarding the filing and service of documents, the format of evidence, and attendance at directions hearings, status conferences and pre-trial hearings.

The court will usually require the parties to have participated in dispute resolution before a final hearing is set.

Parties involved in a litigated legal dispute may settle the matter at any stage without proceeding to a final court hearing. In such cases, they will need to enter into a deed of settlement and consent orders to dispose of the proceedings in court.

How can we Help?

The task of a lawyer is often focused on preventing disputes by drafting sound contracts, flagging potential issues, and ensuring that transactions run smoothly. However, despite the best of intentions, disputes do arise. If this happens, our role is to help you resolve the matter as quickly and effectively as possible while ensuring your legal rights are preserved. Typically, we will start with an alternative dispute resolution process before considering litigation.

If you need help, contact [email protected] or call 0401 513 190 for expert legal advice.