Disputes can arise from a variety of contractual relationships. These disputes often result in our clients having to sue or be sued. We can assist in the process in a robust manner but additionally can ensure that the costs do not outweigh the benefits of the litigation and that you achieve the best possible commercial legal outcome. An important aspect of bringing about a successful commercial outcome for our clients is understanding the nature of our clients’ business which facilitates positive outcomes for our clients who are involved in litigation. We have a dedicated litigation department ready to take on any litigation you may have in any court or tribunal whether in Victoria, nationally or internationally.
We are able to provide litigation services with regard to partnership, shareholder and sale of business disputes, construction litigation (both commercial and domestic) insurance claims, restraints of trade, injunctions and the like.
Partnership and shareholder disputes often involve the valuation of a business and negotiations for one partner or shareholder to “buy out” the other. This necessitates the engagement of expert accountants to value an interest in a business and armed with this knowledge and information we are able to negotiate an effective “buy out” to achieve a commercial result for our clients whether as Vendor or Purchaser. As a consequence of any such “buy-out” we are able to prepare the relevant agreements to include appropriate releases from obligations in favour of third parties (including banks) and necessary indemnities given by one party to the other as the circumstances may require.
Sale of business disputes often entail issues concerning the profitability of the business which has been sold and issues regarding restraints of trade and in particular the enforceability of restraints of trade with regard to area and/or duration. We are able to provide advice to both Vendors and Purchasers and to file Court proceedings for the appropriate injunctions and claims for loss and damage relating to a breach of a restraint of trade agreement. We have had extensive experience in dealing with “Anton Piller” applications where orders are obtained for an order to “search for and secure evidence” as a precursor to or simultaneously with an application for an injunction relating to a breach of a restraint of trade agreement.
Building and Construction Litigation
In respect of commercial and domestic construction litigation we advise a variety of clients including builders and sub-contractors with regard to, in particular, claims in terms of the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 and claims relating to commercial and domestic building contracts in general. We also advise clients with regard to all claims (including warranty claims) in respect of domestic building contracts in terms of the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995.
We advise landlords and tenants in regard to disputes and breaches of leases governed by the Retail Leases Act 2003 including compulsory mediation. Additionally we advise on disputes in regard to commercial and domestic leases and we appear for landlords and tenants in the Victorian and Civil Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) in respect of any disputes.
With regard to insurance claims we represent clients with regard to a variety of insurance policies including life, trauma and property insurance (flood and fire damage).
Trade Debt Recovery
Cash flow is critical and we are able to advise you on the best courses of action to take to ensure that legal proceedings are issued promptly and in an effective manner to enable you to recover trade and other debts owed to you as quickly as possible. This will support your cash flow efforts in your business.
If you are being sued by a creditor we are able to advise you on the best way to deal with any claims made against you and to negotiate settlements to ensure that judgments are avoided. If a judgment is entered against you (either personally or in respect of a corporate entity) we are able to advise you in order that you avoid the consequences of bankruptcy or liquidation.
Does a debtor owe you money? Are you involved in a contractual dispute with a supplier, customer, client or third party? In light of the new Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) are your customer credit applications, personal guarantees and credit terms in order? Batten Sacks can assist you and protect you by preparing the necessary documents required for your business under this new Act.
Are you being sued? Is the ATO, a creditor, your bank or a company liquidator claiming payments or preferences from you? We can assist you in all the various processes of litigation in which you may be involved in the various Courts and Tribunals.