Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution


Breach of Contract Disputes

Our goal is to find a fast and cost-effective solution, with court generally being the last resort.

Businesses use contracts routinely as part of day-to-day commercial life, including for example, contractual dealings with employees, customers, suppliers and subcontractors.

Contracts can be written, verbal or implied or mixtures of all forms and essentially record the parties’ promises and commitments to each other.

We can assist you to identify rights and responsibilities and to focus on the relevant legal issues and develop strategy. Where a breach of contract has occurred, we assist with measures to enforce the contract or seek a suitable remedy.

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Building and Construction Disputes

We understand a building or construction dispute that doesn’t resolve quickly can be very costly and stressful. If such a dispute ends up in court, this could lead to lengthy delays to a project and cost overruns.

Common disputes include disputes as to the quality or quantity of a good or service, the compliance with the building codes and practices, including legislation such as Building and Construction Industry (Security of Payments) Act as well as the Home

Building Act and regulations.

We can assist with home building disputes as well as larger commercial building and construction disputes. In doing so, we explore all avenues that might lead to an early resolution and keeping the matter out of court where possible. If early resolution avenues fail, we have the skills and resources to pursue with formal litigation where necessary.

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OH&S Advice and Prosecution Defence

If a company, senior manager or other person is subject to investigation, WorkCover, prosecution and requires advice we can provide advice and assistance from start to end including the preparation of evidence, appearance and assistance at trial.

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Personal and Business Debt Recovery

If there is no dispute as to the payment of money to you or your business, we are able to commence correspondence, negotiation and court application for the recovery of unpaid moneys.

If a court judgment is obtained we can then undertake the various stages in enforcement of debts which may include such things as engaging the Sheriff to attend; seize and sell property; garnishee orders upon bank accounts, contracts or wages; examination of a debtor; and insolvency and bankruptcy measures.

Debt recovery can be distracting. To minimise this risk, we recommend ensuring that your business is protected by having well-drafted terms of trade, contractual agreements with customers and supplies, and ensuring the protection of your security interests which our Business Law services can provide.

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Product and Professional Liability

If a business is supplying, or has supplied, a product, good or service (including a professional service) we can provide advice as to the liability associated with that if it fails to meet the terms of the contract, the Australian Consumer Law or other legislative requirements.

We can advise on either side of the spectrum, whether you are the provider of such product, good or service, or alternatively, if you as the recipient of the product, good or service.

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Partnership Disputes

A partnership is a common business structure in which two or more people operate a business as co-owners and share income.

The most effective way to avoid or minimise partnership disputes is to have a well-drafted partnership agreement in place at the commencement of your partnership and to review it periodically. Our Business Law services can assist.

Partnership disputes commonly arise in relation to the partners’ remuneration and profit distribution, recognition of contributions or underperformance, conflicting management styles or deteriorating partner relationships, conflicts of interest, as well as the entry, exit and succession of a partner.

At Heard McEwan, we will assist to identify your rights and obligations under any partnership agreement and work towards an early resolution where possible; assist to negotiate an exit from the partnership where desired; and representing you in any court proceedings as a result of the partnership dispute.

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Shareholder Disputes

Many small businesses operate via a proprietary limited company, with the shareholders as co-owners.

The most effective way to avoid or minimise shareholder disputes is to have a well-drafted shareholder agreement and company constitution in place at commencement and to review it periodically. Our Business Law services can assist.

Our team can assist work towards the early resolution of a shareholder dispute via alternative dispute resolution where possible, with court action being considered as a last resort.

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Our Experienced Team is Ready to Help You