The Law Society of NSW Specialist Accredititation 

Contractual Disputes

We believe in the first instance in assisting clients to attempt to negotiate a practical and amicable resolution when disputes first arise.

However it can be the case that a negotiated settlement just is not practical or possible. In those cases we are able to represent you in all courts in New South Wales including the Local Court, District Court, Supreme Court and the Federal Courts system. We also have strong relationships with a number of experienced barristers specialising across a broad spectrum of the law. You can rest assured that the team we put together to represent you is experienced and responsive to your needs.

Commercial litigation is a means of resolving disputes over issues relating to commerce and contracts. The disputes can be tiresome and problematic for businesses and individuals, and range across a broad spectrum of issues.Contractual disputes arise everyday across all industries. Disputes in business most often arise regarding:

the formation of a contract;

the interpretation of a contract;

the termination of a contract; or

the failure of one or more parties to fulfil their obligations and/or requirements under a contract;

When one or more of these issues arises, the business relationship between parties invariably breaks down. Should this occur, both sides of a business relationship may need to protect their interests. In order to protect those interests, one party may eventually sue the other in the relevant jurisdiction, such as the Local Court, the District Court or the Supreme Court.

Commercial litigation has increased over time. One of the more common areas of commercial litigation is when a corporation engages in conduct in trade or commerce which is misleading or deceptive, or that is likely to mislead or deceive. The evidence required to establish that a corporation has engaged in such conduct has become heavily scrutinised by the Court, but that has had little bearing on the increasingly litigious nature of the business world.

Insolvency and bankruptcy are further areas in which commercial litigation has become more prevalent. Creditors looking to secure their interests in a company under liquidation are often burdened with disputes over "who is owed what", requiring, in many cases, the involvement of the judicial system to make a decision.

Consumers are often required to engage in commercial litigation when they purchase a product that has caused injury of damage to someone or something, depending on the circumstances. Commencing legal proceedings against a company for damages stemming from product failure is common. Commencing action against a person, company or entity who you believe may be at fault can be complicated. Being such a broad area of law, disputes are often separated and distinguished by the type of contract, the type of alleged breach, and the issues in dispute.

Whilst many contracts are written, most contracts are verbal and some are even deemed to exist purely by the actions of the parties involved. In other circumstances, disputes may arise over the different interpretations of a clause in a contract, or whether a term of the contract has implied meaning and obligations on a party. There are many types of relief available to those who have suffered loss due to contractual disputes, such as:

1.Injunctive relief i.e. forcing the other party to cease breaching the contract;

2.Specific Performance i.e. forcing the other party to fulfill their obligations under the contract;

3.Financial relief i.e. money (damages) for losses incurred as a result of the actions of the party in breach.