Business and Commercial LItigation

There are different laws which relate to different kinds of law suites. The procedure that needs to be followed in the early stages to prepare a response are however the same in all the courts. The Uniform Civil Procedure Rules set the procedural rules relating to most litigation, except for the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal which is a much more relaxed jurisdiction. Our focus in this article are claims relating to a commercial disputes. Civil disputes can be brought in a number of different jurisdictions.  These kinds of disputes include:

Going to court is expensive.  It is so expensive that many commercially minded people would rather pay someone money that is not owed, or walk away from money that is owing, just to avoid legal costs. While some business people take this practical approach, others want to stand up for the principle of the matter.  Having principles can however be very expensive. It is true that because legal costs are high, even a win may feel like a loss.  Legal costs are sometime higher than the value of the dispute. Lawyers have a saying that "costs follow the event".  In other words, normally the winner of legal proceedings will receive an order that their costs should be paid, by the losing party.  We mention some exceptions below. Here we should pause to think about what this means:

A Caveat is a notice that a person can give to the registrar of  titles.  It will generally stop anyone else registering any interest on a title to land.

So why would someone want to stop another person from registering an interest on a title.  Let me tell you about a case that I was involved with, it illustrates better than any explanation why caveats are so important. About 10 years ago I acted for a farmer.  He lived on his Macadamia nut farm with his wife. He had been given the farm by his father. His daughter had found herself in some trouble and decided that she needed money.   In order to get that money she went to a private lender.  As you know lenders don't lend money unless they receive  a mortgage in return.  The mortgage is their assurance that they will be paid.  A mortgage is a right given to a lender to sell a property to pay a loan.   The daughter had no house to mortgage. What could she do?

One of the problems with our modern legal and business system is that it is exploited by those who know how to exploit it.  Yet, for others who genuinely need the protection, that these systems were designed to provide, the red tap and excessive cost, makes help impossible to obtain.

We see this commonly in disputes relating to unpaid debts and money owed due to breach of contract.  A person who owes money, may well know that it is often not worthwhile for a creditor to pursue payment.  This is because the legal cost of chasing payment is too great.  A debtor who believes that a creditor will not chase payment is unfortunately less likely to pay.

I have included some links at the end of this article that may assist anyone who is owed money.

Fortunately since December 2009 QCAT (Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal) has