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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

Removed due to content no longer being relevant.

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17 January 2005

Proportionate Liability Bulletin

Removed due to content no longer being relevant.

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17 August 2018

What did they expect?

When sued by a client, the reaction from some practitioners is ‘What did they expect for what I charged?’ However, a court will give little regard to your fees when determining the extent of your retainer and whether you discharged your duty. You need to be clear about the scope of your retainer, irrespective of […]

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10 August 2018

New ipso facto regime has commenced

The amendments to the insolvency regime in the Corporations Act 2001 (Cwlth) to restrict the rights of parties to enforce ipso facto clauses in new contracts came into effect on 1 July 2018. These clauses typically allow a party to terminate or exercise other contractual rights if the counterparty enters into an insolvency. Under the […]

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27 July 2018

Confirm when discrete tasks are completed in general files

One risk of running ‘general files’ is failing to confirm in writing when your obligations in connection with discrete tasks are to be treated as concluded. If you fail to clarify this, you might remain ‘on risk’ for issues beyond the discrete task. In one claim, the practitioner acted for the owner of a nursing […]

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20 July 2018

A bad plan

A critical issue for any purchaser of an ‘off the plan’ property is ensuring the actual property accords with what they intended to purchase. Therefore, when giving pre-contractual advice to purchasers, it is essential to identify any deficiencies in documentation that could hinder a proper assessment by the purchaser. In one claim, the practitioner was […]

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13 July 2018

The trouble with DIY clients

Practitioners are finding that some clients are insisting on doing parts of litigation matters themselves, primarily to save legal costs. If you are prepared to accept a limited retainer, you need to manage the risks. In one claim, a practitioner acted on an appeal regarding a dispute over a debt. The client was self-represented at […]

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30 September 2014

Key Risk Checklist: Risk management strategies for litigation

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 […]

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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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7 September 2018

Risk video bite – defective section 32 statements

Presenter: Phillip Nolan, LPLC Risk Manager

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6 July 2018

Risk video bite – Conflicts

Presenter: Matthew Rose, Risk Manager, LPLC

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1 June 2018

Risk video bite – Personal cost orders

Presenter: Matthew Rose, Risk Manager, LPLC

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5 May 2015

Risk video bite | Solicitor’s certificates – why are you borrowing the money?

Presenter: Justin Toohey, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, LPLC

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