Dispute Resolution & Litigation
Dispute resolution processes
Legal disputes are uncertain, disruptive, and expensive. We are skilled and considered negotiators and strategists with years of experience in dispute resolution which often leads to a settlement out of Court. We will provide a straight forward opinion of your matter and its prospects of success with realistic cost estimates of your case, enabling you to make an informed decision.
Specifically, we can help with disputes concerning:
- Buying and selling a businesses
- Companies, partnerships and trusts
- Rights and duties of directors, owners, and managers
- Commercial and retail leases including enforcing the rights of landlords and tenants
- Building and construction matters – commercial and domestic
- Property matters including commercial, industrial and domestic
- Breach of contract and other contractual disputes
- Wills and estates including contesting a will
There are various ways to resolve a matter before resorting to expensive Court litigation. These processes are generally referred to as alternative dispute resolution.
Negotiation is usually always the first step involved in resolving a dispute between two or more parties. It involves parties communicating directly, either speaking with each other or in writing, to try to reach an agreement. Each party may appoint a legal representative to advise and negotiate on their behalf.
This type of dispute resolution involves an impartial person (a mediator) assisting parties to negotiate a settlement to their dispute. It can be used for various disputes, with the mediator encouraging the parties to reach their own resolution. A mediation may be arranged before or during proceeding
The arbitration process involves parties to a dispute presenting their case to an independent third person (the arbitrator). The parties are bound by the arbitrator’s decision. Arbitration is sometimes used when the methods of dispute resolution have proven unsuccessful. Arbitration is mostly used in situations such as industrial relations or contractual disputes.
Family dispute resolution
Family dispute resolution is used to resolve disputes regarding parenting arrangements or division of property and prevent parties from going to Court. This type of dispute resolution aims to reach an agreement that is practical, functional and in the best interests of children.
Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria (DSCV)
The DSCV has a free telephone service that attempts to try to resolve your disputes. They will also discuss your issue, options, suggest negotiation strategies and organize mediation, if required.
The DSCV does not deal with family law-related disputes. It can however, assist older Victorians who are thinking about transferring assets or property to family members.
If parties are unable to resolve their commercial matters through alternative dispute resolution, they can lodge legal proceedings r to be heard in State Courts such as the Magistrates Court or County Court or Supreme Court or Federal Courts such as the Federal Court or Federal Circuit and Family Court
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) also hears a vast range of disputes, including, goods and services, residential tenancies, building and construction, equal opportunity, owners’ corporations and planning.
You can fill out and online application and you will then be allocated a conciliation or hearing date. Some matters, such as building disputes, will require parties to settle their dispute through conciliation with a Tribunal member. If the parties fail to reach an agreement, they will then be referred to a hearing.