Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Litigation is the process of using the Court to resolve a dispute between parties. This is opposed to alternative forms of dispute resolution such as negotiation where the parties will attempt to resolve the dispute themselves, or mediation, where a mediator will resolve the dispute.
Litigation can range from long, complex matters in the Supreme Court of NSW, to relatively simple matters in the Local Court of NSW. At all stages of the litigation process, Walker & George pride ourselves on providing multiple strategic options, whilst advising on the benefits and risks of each option to ensure our clients obtain the best possible commercial outcome.
Generally, litigation will involve at least three stages, depending upon the complexity of the issues and facts in dispute. These stages are:
- Pleadings – involves the parties focusing the facts and issues in dispute.
- Evidence – involves the parties serving and, or filing their evidence in written form (called an affidavit) supporting their respective positions. It may involve the parties causing third parties to produce relevant documents also.
- Final Hearing – occurs when all written and documentary evidence has been finalised. It is important to note that there are usually several intermediary or directions hearings before a final hearing.
1. Debt Recovery & Creditor’s statutory demand
Debt collection is an unfortunate, but often necessary part of running a business or engaging in commercial transactions. Ensuring your clients remain within payment terms, or outstanding debts are recovered efficiently, is integral to maintaining your own cashflow and third-party relationships.
Debt recovery matters are those often relatively simple matters that involve goods and, or services being provided and not being paid for or disputed. The creditor (i.e. the person providing the goods and, or services) will typically have rendered invoices that remain outstanding outside of payment terms.
At Walker & George, we aim to minimise the time, expense and stress of recovering your debts as much as possible by providing a fixed fee package in relation to pursuing a debtor (subject to the response of the debtor to your claim).
2. Breach of Contracts
Contractual disputes are as many and varied as the types of contracts that are out there including (to name a few):
- construction contracts;
- service agreements and business contracts;
- commercial and residential property contracts and leases.
At Walker & George we are well versed in reviewing and advising you in relation to contractual disputes. We pride ourselves on our ability to provide you with practical advice and strategic options to resolve any disputes you may find yourself involved in.
3. Shareholder & Director Disputes
An important factor in resolving shareholder and director disputes is considering the various stakeholders’ positions and interests and managing expectations to achieve an outcome satisfactory to all parties. Walker & George pride themselves in being able to understand and navigate stakeholders’ interests and achieve a commercial and practical outcome for all.
However, if a deadlock remains, Walker & George are well equipped to commence proceedings to resolve the matter. To this end we have acted in numerous matters in the Supreme Court of NSW and Federal Court of Australia.
4. Negligence Claims
Negligence claims arise out of a party breaching a duty of care owed to you and you suffering loss from that breach. Accordingly, crucial questions to consider in the following order are:
- if there is a duty of care owed;
- if that duty of care has been breached;
- if the loss suffered was reasonably foreseeable by the party breaching the duty of care;
- quantifying any loss, including considering concurrent liability and the number of tortfeasors; and
The Civil Liability Act has made considerable inroads into this area of law and the impact of this Act must be considered in light of the particular circumstances in your matter.
(e) Insolvency related claims
At Walker & George our managing director is an accredited member of the Australian Restructuring Insolvency & Turnaround Association. Accordingly, we are well equipped to assist you in relation to any insolvency related claims you may be involved in. These types of claims include:
- breach of director’s duties;
- insolvent transactions and insolvent trading claims, including unfair preference claims;
- uncommercial transactions; and
- unreasonable director-related transactions.
Walker & George have acted both for liquidators pursing these claims as well as for directors defending these claims and we are experienced in the issues that arise in relation to these claims.