Having to take Court proceedings or being sued is a daunting process. At Etheringtons, we have the expertise and knowledge to assist and guide you properly throughout the process whether it be to a contested hearing or a matter that can be resolved by negotiation. Please see our videos where we discuss issues such as the costs of Court proceedings how we can minimise legal costs, how to know if you have the right solicitor for your case and other issues relevant to Court proceedings.
Mediation and settlement of Court disputes
Frequently cases are referred to mediation by the Court and sometimes parties choose to voluntarily have a mediation of the dispute before proceedings are even initiated. The advantage of mediation is that the parties get to make a decision as to the ultimate outcome of their case and there are also lots of things that parties can agree to that a Court cannot order. Settlement of a Court dispute will give you certainty as to the outcome of your matter and you will be in a position of knowing what the end result will be to you, rather than waiting for a judge to do so. When we advise clients at mediation, we will always let them know what their legal costs are so that if they are making a decision on settling their case, they will know what they will actually receive after the settlement. We will also advise as to the range of settlements that are reasonable and what we recommend and ultimately let the client make their own decision if they want to settle or proceed to Court. Not all cases resolve at mediation and mediation will not suite every situation. However, if your case is suitable for mediation, it can be an effective and efficient way to resolve a dispute before or during the Court process.
We can act for company shareholders and directors where issues arise that cause conflict. We have experience in taking proceedings for minority shareholders where they have been oppressed by the majority shareholders, and proceedings where directors have been removed from the company.
We have also taken proceedings where companies need to be wound-up because the company is not functioning properly, and various other reasons arising from difficulties in running a company and the company’s obligations under the Law. Business partners can frequently find themselves heading in different directions. Sometimes when a partnership comes to an end, proceedings are necessary in order to ensure that one partner is properly paid out. There is also strict legal liability and duties of a fiduciary nature between partners. We have acted in proceedings whereby one partner has breached their duty to another. Damages can be recovered including what is referred to as an ‘account of profits’.
Commercial litigation/contracts claims
Commercial litigation is a general term that is used to describe issues of dispute arising usually in business transactions. We can act in claims of misleading and deceptive conduct, misrepresentation and consumer claims. Many contracts also have implied terms, and there are various options open to the people who believe that another party has engaged in conduct that may have breached those implied terms. We can assist you in providing initial advice as to whether you have a claim. We can also assist if you have been sued, and advise what defences are available to you.
We have acted in professional negligence claims against various professions including solicitors, accountants and financial advisers. The law requires all professionals to conduct themselves in a competent fashion and in accordance with industry standards and, unfortunately, this does not always occur. Damages can be in the millions of dollars and we have the expertise necessary to assist and assess whether or not you have a claim.
Injunctions can be obtained on an urgent basis and also on a non-urgent basis where a business or individual needs to prevent something from happening or, alternatively, something has happened and they need to stop it from happening. We have previously obtained urgent injunctions, including in restraining employees in acting in competition with their former employer, obtaining search orders to identify evidence and locate documents and even obtained injunctions to prevent the sale of certain goods. If you require an urgent injunction, you must act quickly and the most important thing to do is to get advice without delay. Courts are able to order injunctions in a very short period of time and we have had matters where we were in Court the same day that we received the enquiry from the client.
In all matters where we take Court proceedings, we will advise you up front as to the range of costs that we estimate your matter may involve. We will also provide you with a range of costs that you are likely to recover from the other side if you succeed in your case, as well as a range of costs that you may be liable for to the other side in the event that you do not succeed.