Your dispute resolution and litigation questions answered
Often, a resolution can be reached through a round table discussion, or an informal mediation. If these strategies don’t work, or aren’t an option in the first place, you could have a lawyer send a legal letter of demand on your behalf. The letter should explain the resolution that you are seeking, and provide a date for a response.
Firstly, don’t ignore the letter! Allowing a deadline to pass without taking any action could be a quick way to end up in a costly court proceeding. You should have a lawyer prepare a detailed response setting out your position. Working with a lawyer experienced in disputes and litigation could mean that an early resolution is reached, and that you avoid very significant expenses later on.
It might be time to consider court proceedings, and Clearscope Legal can guide you through the process and protect your rights. The first step is a formal court document called a “statement of claim”, and the other side will then have a few weeks to submit a “defence”. Then both sides will exchange copies of all documents relevant to the dispute, and will need to participate in a compulsory mediation. If the dispute is resolved here, a “settlement agreement” will be signed and the court process will end. However even if a settlement cannot be achieved, the parties are still allowed to try to re-negotiate all the way up to the final court hearing.
It depends on what the other side is offering, if anything. If nothing is being put forward, there may be no option but to see the court action through to the end. However if there is any offer on the table, it’s always wise to fully explore the possibility of a settlement. Because even if you win at court, you will usually only recover about half of your legal costs.
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We are a leading boutique commercial law firm based in Melbourne. Our lawyers are commercial law specialists, with many years of experience both in private practice and as in-house counsel for local corporate groups and international businesses.
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