What are Courts?
Courts are the forums for hearing disputes. All of the state and federal Courts have different procedures. “Litigation” is the term used to describe a dispute before the Courts.
Which Court for which dispute?
Federal Courts determine disputes involving laws of the Commonwealth, such as the High Court, Federal and Family Court. The state Courts hear those disputes governed by the laws of New South Wales.
Some of the Courts are divided into divisions, each dealing with a certain area of law. To commence a case in the right division is critical.
Alternatives to Court
We regularly assist clients in taking matters to arbitration or mediation in certain circumstances. This can be a cheaper alternative and can help you achieve your desired result with less stress.
Mediations and arbitrations involve structured negotiation. They usually involve compromise on both sides and can be useful in a long standing commercial dispute.
We can assist you in drafting clauses in your contracts covering the way in which mediations and arbitrations will be conducted.
Our Litigation Philosophy
To give prompt and accurate opinions as to the success of a case
Only to pursue a case where there are good prospects
To explore every avenue to minimise client exposure and maximise the prospect of success
Barristers (Legal Counsel) and Consultants
Shanahans Solicitors can call on a select team of Barristers specialising in each of the Court jurisdictions and who follow our litigation philosophy
Our Barristers have strict fee arrangements with us. Their fees must be paid “up front” to comply with the billing arrangements we have with them.
Similar arrangements apply for other consultants – such as medical or building expenses – retained by us on your behalf.
Why do cases often take so long and cost so much?
The ability of Courts to process case lists are regulated by Governments’ allocation of resources and various procedures. We use strategies to “fast-track” our cases wherever possible.
We can identify issues quickly in a case, give an opinion as to its merits and plan a strategy to maximise its prospects of success.
Preparation is everything. Cases can only be shown in their best light with a thorough approach in organising the evidence and managing the legal issues. Proper investigation takes time and money.
Our normal policy is that our fees for conducting a case will be billed on a monthly basis. Our solicitor time is charged on an hourly basis. Disbursements such as Court filing fees, barristers’ and other experts’ fees are extra.
In some cases we may consider taking on your matter on a “speculative basis”. In these cases our fees are payable upon its successful conclusion.
It is a misconception that the winner’s legal fees are always paid by the losing party. This assumes the losing patty has the money in the first place and that it can be recovered. As a general rule a winning party can expect to recover about 65% of the legal costs incurred.
We can advise you as to the best means to maximise recovery, but it is best to budget as if you will pay the fees.
Our solicitors can answer any of your questions regarding this process in greater detail.
Be prepared and be committed
The road the litigant travels can be both windy and treacherous. It requires commitment, dedication and compliance with the advice and recommendations we give.
We endeavour to provide prompt and accurate advice but it does involve the litigant doing a lot of the ‘behind the scenes” work. We can only achieve as good an outcome as might reasonably be expected with your full co-operation.
There will be times when it is commercially expedient to settle a case for a variety of reasons. We will always endeavour to point these out. It must be accepted that circumstances in a case can change which requires a flexible approach throughout.