Sometimes, legal disputes are hard to avoid. If your fight for what's right drags on and on, you could incur substantial legal fees. That said, litigation is often unavoidable. Whether you ar the Plaintiff or Defendent, it is important to approach a legal proceeding equipped with the knowledge and understanding of the process and the means to enhance your prospects of a successful outcome in all the circumstances.
Tips before going to court
Often when a dispute arises, deciding to sue the other party is a knee-jerk reaction. Before “taking it to court”, there are some important considerations to factor in which can help you in the management of your dispute and improve the prospects of a favourable outcome. The most important factor is whether you have attempted to resolve the dispute outside of Court. Once you start a legal proceeding, it is difficult to stop it without risking adverse cost consequences. Resolving a dispute outside of Court is almost always a better option in the long-term, because it allows you to move on with your life or business in (usually) a confidential manner without the hassle, cost and stress of a protracted court case.
Get an expert
While the hourly rate of a lawyer who holds themselves out to be an expert in a particular area may be higher than another lawyer, their knowledge, skill and experience will enable them to provide you with the services and outcome you require in a faster time frame, ensuring that the amount you pay is lower.
Security for costs
A common concern that can arise at any stage before or during a legal proceeding is what happens if the other party doesn’t have enough money to pay your legal costs? Applications for security for costs must be brought promptly, either at the start of a legal proceeding or (if during a proceeding) when new factors come to light putting the Plaintiff’s ability to pay into question. If a Court is satisfied that a Plaintiff may not have adequate funds to cover a Defendant’s legal costs in the event the Defendant were to succeed at trial, the Court can make an order that the Plaintiff pre-pay a sum into Court or give a bank or other form of guarantee. This is an order given by way of “security” in the Defendant’s favour.
By mediating early, the parties are given the option to achieve an early resolution to the dispute with minimal time and cost expended on both sides. An early mediation allows the parties to come to more flexible arrangements that would not be possible if the dispute was tried by a judge.
Discovery is the exchange of all documents in a party’s possession, custody or power, which are relevant to the issues in dispute in a legal proceeding. Discovery is often the single largest cost in corporate litigation, and the costs associated with giving discovery can become disproportionate to the amount in dispute. For this reason, discovery is a milestone in any legal proceeding. Where there is a possibility of resolving a dispute without trial, it is in both parties’ interests to have those discussions prior to the discovery stage so that unnecessary costs can be avoided.
Pragma Laywers is a swift and nimble law firm with a reputation for working with precision to resolve legal matters quickly. We've prepared a free eBook to share our insider tips for resolving commercial disputes fast.
You can download your free copy of our Strategies for Maximising Success in Dispute Resolution eBook by clicking here.
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