Commercial litigation refers to any form of dispute that is present within a business environment. Whilst people know what business disputes are, and that lawyers can help, many are still unclear on what a commercial litigator actually does and how they can help a company.
Here at Pannone Corporate, we specialise in commercial disputes in relation to contracts, company affairs, real estate, intellectual property, professional negligence, debt recovery and more. The brief points in this blog may help you better understand the services of a commercial litigator.
What to Do Before Beginning Proceedings?
Achieving the best possible outcome for clients is always the key focus for commercial litigators. It is important to properly understand the situation first to help identify the best course of action.
Typically, all parties must outline their claims and responses in pre-action correspondence. It is vital as a claimant that your claim is correctly articulated from the start. A specialist commercial litigator will first investigate the facts with you and analyse the claims that may be available. They may obtain preliminary expert input where the claim requires expert support. A similar process of investigation will be needed if someone is making a claim against you, before a response to the claim is set out in correspondence.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Litigation is typically imagined in the court environment. Whilst a court ruling is necessary in some cases, often Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is used prior to the final court hearing.
ADR refers to the various ways in which disputes can be settled out of court. ADR could be conducted by negotiations verbally or through correspondence, informal or “without prejudice” meetings, or by more structured procedures such as mediation or expert determination. A litigation solicitor will be able to advise you on the route which is appropriate for your case and the time at which ADR ought to be used.
What Happens If ADR Does Not Work?
If the solution cannot be found outside of court, commercial litigation solicitors will be able to work with you to complete the steps needed to bring your case to a final hearing in the courts.
Solicitors will usually prepare the statements of case. This will include a claim form and a particulars of claim for a claimant and a defence for a defendant. In more complex cases, a commercial litigator will typically instruct a specialist barrier in respect of this step. In part, this is because the barrister will argue the case if a trial is reached. After the exchange of statements of case, a commercial litigation solicitor will complete the procedural steps in the litigation, including attending a case management conference (CMC) at the court, the disclosure of relevant documents, inspection of the opponent’s documents, and the preparation of witness statements and expert evidence.
At the CMC the court will likely require the parties to file budgets of their estimated costs. The court will consider those budgets and make orders in order to manage costs.
Before any hearing or trial, your appointed commercial litigator will brief the appointed barrister to argue the case. Your litigator will attend the trial and will support the barrister.
Finally, after the court judgment has been given or the dispute has been settled, your dispute resolution solicitor will assist you if necessary to ensure that the terms of the judgment or settlement are implemented.
Instructing a commercial litigator from the very beginning of a dispute can ensure that you have the best chance to achieve your desired outcome either in or outside of court.