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Commercial litigation


Almost inevitably, clients only seek out litigation lawyers when something has gone wrong and as litigation is an unfamiliar environment for many litigants, managing their expectations during the litigation process is key to containing risks in this area.

The relationship between litigation practitioners and their clients can often be difficult from the start and for many clients the court system, which includes a number of tribunals, is unfamiliar and confusing. A litigant’s discontent is likely to be exacerbated when faced with delays, unexpected costs and no costs jurisdictions. Not surprisingly, commercial litigation which covers a broad area including contractual disputes, debt recovery, employment claims, building disputes and insurance litigation, is a significant area of claims for LPLC each year.

There are steps that you can take to minimise the risk of receiving a claim. Below is some information to assist practitioners understand those steps.

3 May 2016

Failing to plan is planning to fail

Practitioners need to be proactive from the outset in litigation matters. Litigation matters can be protracted and unpredictable. Consequently, practitioners often approach these matters one step at a time and deal with issues when they become critical. To manage risk effectively, you need to be proactive from the outset. Time limits Always identify and diarise applicable limitation dates at the […]

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31 March 2016

In Check Issue 70 | March 2016

Table of contentsCyber-crime – how alert are you?Common GST questionImportance of good working relationships within the professionReminder for RedCrest2016 Risk Management SeminarsCheck your contracts for deemed serviceNew look websiteLaw Institute Journal articles Cyber-crime – how alert are you? Lawyers and the legal profession are increasingly becoming targets of cyber-crime and while many law firms may not […]

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1 December 2015

In Check Issue 69 | December 2015

Table of contentsCount your days to the end of the year carefullyCommon GST queries about the farming business exemptionUpdated purchaser statementChanges to foreign investment framework2016 Risk Management SeminarsNew training video – The New NormalOffice closure over Christmas and New YearLaw Institute Journal articles Count your days to the end of the year carefully As the […]

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1 October 2015

Making it personal

Litigators who breach their obligations are at risk of a personal cost order The LPLC has seen an increase in the number of claims involving personal cost orders since the Civil Procedure Act 2010 (Vic) was introduced. The Act codifies practitioners’ paramount duty to the court and sets out overarching obligations when acting in civil proceedings. […]

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15 June 2015

In Check Issue 67 | June 2015

Table of contentsCyber-crime – client’s email account being hacked2015 Risk Management IntensiveGuides for executors and beneficiaries updatedLaw Institute Journal articlesFamily law claims on the riseIs the tenant liable to pay for essential safety measures?Risk Management Blog – join the subscription listNew presenter’s workbook for our online training videosNew rule old forms – giving a solicitor’s […]

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2 February 2011

Civil Procedure Act 2010 (Vic) Update

The Civil Procedure Act 2010 (Vic) (the Act) heralds important legislative reform for civil proceedings conducted in the Supreme, County and Magistrates Courts, but not VCAT or the Federal court. It came into operation on 1 January 2011. All legal practitioners who practice in this area must read and come to terms with this legislation […]

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17 January 2005

Proportionate Liability Bulletin

Litigation solicitors should be aware of recent legislation at both the Victorian and Commonwealth levels relating to proportionate liability. There are important differences in the legislation. Table of contentsLegislationVictoria Commonwealth Commencement Times Proceedings Covered  Legislation Victoria  The Wrongs and Limitation of Actions Act (Insurance Reform) Act 2003 introduced Part IVAA into the Wrongs Act 1958. Commonwealth  The Corporate […]

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12 May 2017

Litigating for nominal damages is risky

Where a client wants to pursue a claim on a matter of principle for nominal damages, practitioners need to consider their overarching obligations under the Civil Procedure Act 2010 (Vic). In Actrol Parts Pty Ltd v Coppi (No 3) [2015] VSC 758, Mr Coppi, an employee of Actrol Parts Pty Ltd (Actrol), was put on […]

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9 December 2016

Do you know your limits?

Practitioners who are experts in a specific area of law sometimes find themselves in unfamiliar territory without realising it. Practitioners who usually do domestic conveyancing maybe out of their depth when they receive instructions about the purchase of a commercial building with multiple tenants and where the purchaser is a self-managed superannuation fund who will […]

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23 September 2016

Stay on the right side of the line in mediations

Tactics are an essential part of mediations as practitioners seek to reach an outcome favourable to their clients. However, there are legal and ethical limits to how far practitioners can go in settlement negotiations. Practitioners in mediations should be mindful of the provisions of Part 2.3 of the Civil Procedure Act 2010 (Vic) and section […]

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2 September 2016

Know the boundary between expertise and dabbling

You should always be aware of the risks when a matter moves into unfamiliar territory beyond your expertise. This often happens where the matter starts within a practitioner’s normal area of practice but subsequently takes a turn into another area. Sometimes the practitioner thinks ‘it can’t be that different’ from the area familiar to them. […]

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29 July 2016

Ensure there is a proper basis for seeking a personal cost order

LPLC has seen an increase in the number of claims involving personal cost orders since the Civil Procedure Act 2010 (Vic) was introduced. However, a recent decision of the Victorian Supreme Court shows that practitioners who threaten to seek a personal cost order against another practitioner may themselves be in breach of the Act if the […]

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30 September 2014

Key Risk Checklist: Risk management strategies for litigation

Before accepting instructions in a matter carefully consider whether you can act: for this client in this matter at this time – and do so bearing in mind the duties you will have to that client and the court Communicate with the client at the very beginning about: who the client(s) is/are who will give you […]

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11 May 2017

Know your limits

Table of contentsIntroductionLessons from the claimsTime limits most commonly missedClaims examples Introduction With the proliferation of time limits in legislation today missing limitation dates is a mistake that occurs in many areas of the law. The reasons for missing time limits are varied as are the potential repercussions. Sometimes it is a lack of knowledge […]

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20 January 2015

Commercial litigation – stay alert

Table of contentsIntroductionThe causes of claimsCommon problemsOther risksLPLC Commercial Litigation Checklist Introduction Managing the client’s expectations during litigation is the key to containing risks in this area. Commercial litigation – stay alert provides examples of how things can go wrong in commercial litigation and how practitioners can minimise the risk of a claim. The relationship […]

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