Dispute Resolution & Litigation

At some stage, you or your business may become involved in a legal dispute and may need to consider your options to resolve the matter. Understanding the legal issues involved and your rights is essential to effectively deal with the matter and minimise unnecessary cost and stress.

Thurlow fisher sees disputes extremely simple. They can only end in two ways, agreement or court order. It is that simple.

We provide advice and guidance to help resolve a range of legal disputes including:

  • Accident claims
  • Business and commercial matters
  • Partnership and shareholder disputes
  • Debt recovery and contractual issues
  • Consumer complaints
  • Neighbour disputes
  • Building and construction disputes
  • Will disputes and family provision claims
  • Intellectual property disputes
  • Insurance claims
  • Commercial and retail leasing disputes
  • Workers compensation and Total Permanent Disabilities claims

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Most disputes can be resolved through negotiation, using processes such as mediation, rather than going to Court. This usually results in quicker, more flexible outcomes for the parties involved and can save costs. In many cases, mediation can help preserve the parties’ relationship which can be beneficial if they have ongoing personal or commercial arrangements.

Effective dispute resolution requires a skilled negotiator with a working knowledge across the relevant areas of law to recommend strategies that deliver the most viable solution possible in the circumstances. Your lawyer will:

  • obtain the relevant facts;
  • identify and narrow the issues in dispute;
  • identify and apply the relevant areas of law;
  • assess the parties’ respective legal positions;
  • assess the strengths and weaknesses of each side;
  • propose options that will deliver the best possible outcome for the client in all of the circumstances.

The effectiveness of a dispute resolution process depends on the willingness of the parties to make genuine attempts and to negotiate in good faith. Any agreement reached can be formalised in legally binding terms of settlement.

Commencing Court proceedings

While alternative dispute resolution is generally a more cost-effective way to resolve legal disputes, despite best efforts, it may be impossible to resolve the matter in this way. In such cases, we may need to assess your matter and advise on the likely prospects of success, and the pros and cons of pursuing the matter in Court.

What is litigation?

Litigation refers to the commencement of legal proceedings with the aim of resolving a disputed matter with the Court’s assistance. A civil Court dispute generally arises when two or more parties are unable to resolve a matter concerning their respective legal rights and obligations. The nature and value of these matters can vary significantly and accordingly, different Courts (and Tribunals) have been established based on the type of dispute and the monetary value of a claim.

Court proceedings are commenced by the aggrieved party (the plaintiff) filing a summons or application in the relevant jurisdiction, identifying the party against whom a remedy is sought (the defendant). The claim usually includes a statement of facts summarising the circumstances of the case, identifies the ‘complaint’ or area of law breached, and requests the remedy sought.

Court proceedings are complex, often involving an overlap of legal issues and two or more versions of ‘facts’. They can become protracted and expensive.

A litigated matter must be carefully prepared and comply with Court formalities and technicalities regarding evidence. The decision to commence or defend proceedings should be carefully considered and weighed against the likelihood of success and, if successful, the feasibility of enforcing any orders against the other party.

Effective dispute resolution requires a comprehensive knowledge across various legal areas together with sound negotiation and case management skills. We provide quality representation and advocacy in and out of the formal court setting to deliver workable solutions across a range of dispute types.

If you need any assistance contact one of our lawyers at general@thurlowfisher.com.au or call (02) 9708 2222 for a no-obligation discussion and for expert legal advice.