Litigation and Dispute Resolution Services
In the commercially and financially precarious arena of litigation, success can only be measured by obtaining the best possible outcome for the client. In order to achieve this, our commercial litigation solicitors regards the needs of the client as the benchmark of our operations. With this in mind, our experienced and diverse team accredit our success to our case-by-case development of an effective and precise strategy that addresses the following:
- The exact nature of the dispute;
- The client’s position in relation to the dispute;
- The client’s claims and concessions to the dispute;
- Alternate methods of resolution available to the client;
- Potential fees and outlays associated with the dispute;
- Any preliminary and transitional issues that can be expected to arise in regards to the dispute;
- The correct judicial processes available to the client in absence of resolution; and
- Aiming to achieve the best possible outcome by strenuously countering the worst.
Contracts are a regular and integral part of our day to day lives, ranging from buying milk at a supermarket to complex employment agreements.
Contracts are generally regulated by the contract itself, which should set out how the contract should operate, and what should happen in certain circumstances.
Property – Commercial
Along with offering conveyancing and other property assistance, Ramsden Lawyers are experts in commercial property matters.
The rapid development of property on the Gold Coast, and in Queensland in general, has shown the need for sound legal advice. Sound legal advice is particularly important for those involved in commercial property.
Obtaining legal advice prior to entering into a business structure is generally the best advice to help avoid disputes. However, sometimes disputes arise. Where disputes arise it is important that you are aware of your legal position.
Joint Venture Disputes
A ‘Joint Venture’ is a business structure in which two or more businesses combine resources, knowledge and skills for a finite time, generally for a specified project. Joint venture agreements are commonly used in property development, mining, and other large scale projects.
Although there are many advantages in using a joint venture business structure there are also disadvantages.
A partnership is a business structure in which two or more people operate a business as co-owners and share income.
Partnerships are a common business structure within Australia and are generally regulated by agreement between the parties. Additionally, the partnership may be regulated by both Commonwealth and/ or state/ territory legislation such as the Partnership Act.
A company business structure establishes a company as a legal entity in its own right, separate from its officers and shareholders. The most common types of businesses are either public or proprietary limited.
All companies are directly regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (‘ASIC’), the Corporations Act and other legislation.
A shareholder is someone who owns shares of stock in a company and is an integral part of a company.
While not required, it is generally good practice for a company to have a shareholder agreement. A shareholder agreement will be the first point of information to shareholders. Additionally, the company’s constitution should set out how disputes are to be resolved. If the company does not have a constitution the ‘replaceable rules’ apply. Failing this, the Corporations Act imposes fiduciary duties on the directors of companies and other obligations.
Basically, trusts are a means of controlling the distribution of property. There are various forms of trusts including:
Chasing debts is an unfortunate and often unavoidable part of operating a business. It is often associated with stress and negative feelings. No matter what type of industry you are in, bad debts are always a possibility.
Debts can eventuate from a number of practices including:
- business credit
- loan agreements
- a range of other situations
It is important that you are aware that there are time limitations on recovery proceedings.
With most businesses operating out of leased premises, it is vitally important that you know your legal position in respect of your lease.
Without proper guidance lease disputes can result in excessive and costly outcomes. It is important that when you have an issue related to a lease that you seek proper legal advice. Here at Ramsden Lawyers we are experts in lease disputes.
Building and Construction
With the large scale domestic and commercial building work that is occurring on the Gold Coast, there is the potential for dispute. Where a dispute occurs, it is important that you obtain legal advice to resolve the dispute in a timely fashion so that you can move in or open your building on time and on budget.
There are many issues that can arise in regard to building and construction including disputes between:
- contractors including electricians
- professionals including architects and engineers
- surveyors including quality surveyors
- suppliers and manufacturers
Securing personal property for credit is an integral part of Australian business and is now nationally regulated by the Personal Property Securities Act (‘PPSA’).
The PPSA provides for the obtaining of a ‘security interest’ over most tangible and intangible non-land property and is accessible online at any time. Generally, a security interest is given as security under a:
•lease which secures payment
•performance of an obligation
Consumer and Trader Disputes
The supply of goods or services in trade or commerce by a business is regulated under various laws.
Often, consumers are unaware of their rights and businesses are unaware of their obligations.
Examples of common consumer and trader disputes include:
- defective goods such as appliances, furniture, clothes or food
- defective work/ services such as car maintenance or a haircut
- unpaid invoices
- unpaid wages
Defamation, Media and Reputation Management
Defamation is the publication of a statement to a third person about a person or corporation.
An action for defamation usually has three elements including:
- the matter must be published to a third person other than the plaintiff;
- the matter must be of and concerning the plaintiff; and
- the matter must be defamatory of the plaintiff.
In establishing these elements, the first two elements are a question of fact, while the third element is determined by considering whether an ordinary, reasonable person would on hearing, seeing or reading the material, think less of the person about whom the material is published.
Both individuals and corporations can be defamed.
Professional Negligence Disputes
In the provision of professional services, professionals are required to be reasonably competent and diligent. There are various laws to ensure that this standard of professionalism is maintained.
Examples of who these standards apply to include:
- land and property valuers
- some business advisors
- legal advisors including lawyers and solicitors
- financial advisors including financial planners
- fund managers
- certain managers including managers of managed investment schemes
- company directors and secretaries
- many other professionals
Product Liability Disputes
We are experts in both plaintiff and defendant product liability disputes.
Not all products operate as intended. When a product does not operate as intended it can cause harm.
There are various laws ensuring that manufacturers produce products that are safe and suitable.
This duty covers most products offered for sale with the most common disputes arising due to:
- consumer goods such as appliances, furniture, clothes and foods
- machinery such as motor vehicles
- technology products