Do you need litigation lawyers on the Sunshine Coast who are experts in litigation and dispute resolution?
Litigation lawyers on the Sunshine Coast provide advice and assistance with all Sunshine Coast litigation and dispute resolution matters.
These disputes can include the following:
- Administrative review & judicial review
- Building disputes and debt recovery
- Business & commercial litigation
- Civil litigation and personal disputes
- Company & shareholder disputes
- Consumer law disputes
- Contract disputes
- Debt disputes, debt recovery & collection
- Defamation (libel & slander)
- Dividing fences and neighbour disputes
- Employment disputes, wage theft & unfair dismissal
- Intellectual property disputes
- Mediation and alternative dispute resolution
- Personal bankruptcy
- Corporate insolvency / liquidation
- Residential and commercial leasing
- Wills and estates litigation, contesting a will.
If you are looking for Sunshine Coast litigation legal services, then Stonegate Legal can help you.
This article will explain how our Sunshine Coast lawyers can help with each of the above.
Litigation Lawyers Sunshine Coast
Administrative Review & Judicial Review
There are two (2) types of administrative review, merits review and judicial review.
Administrative Review in Queensland
If a decision is made by a Queensland Government that you do not agree with, or you think is in error or unjust, then there is a process that you can follow.
Firstly, there might be an internal review process. This is where the Queensland Government department review their own decision.
If you do not get the decision changed internally, then you can make an application for a merits review in QCAT. The types of matters that they hear include:
- Horse racing issues; and/or
- Firearms licensing issues; and/or
- Building and construction licensing issues; and/or
- Blue card applications; and/or
- Medical practitioners licensing and disciplinary review; and/or
- Architects and engineers licensing and disciplinary review; and/or
- And a lot more.
In most cases the merits review must be made within 28 days of the adverse decision being made.
You might also have recourse to the Queensland Supreme Court for judicial consideration.
Judicial review in the Supreme Court of Queensland
In certain cases, you can make an application to the Supreme Court for judicial review of the decision if your interests would be adversely affected by a decision.
The Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 limits the grounds on which you can bring an application. These grounds include:
- The decision was erroneously made or wrong at law; and/or
- There was a breach of natural justice; and/or
- There was an improper exercise of power; and/or
- There was no evidence to justify or support the decision; and/or
- There was no legal jurisdiction to make the decision.
If this applies to your case, then contact our litigation lawyers on the Sunshine Coast.
Administrative Appeals Tribunal
Further, if a decision has been made by the Commonwealth or Federal Government under Commonwealth or Federal Legislation, then you have recourse to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (“AAT”).
For example, this might include reviewing:
- Migration / refugee decisions
- Australian citizenship decisions
- NDIS decisions
- Taxation decisions
- Veterans’ appeals decisions
- Centrelink decisions; and/or
- Child support decisions.
If this applies to your case, then contact our litigation lawyers on the Sunshine Coast.
Building Disputes and Debt Recovery
A Sunshine Coast litigation and dispute resolution lawyer can also office advice and assistance with building and construction disputes.
Building and construction disputes can include:
- Breaches of building contracts
- Debt recovery and non-payment of money
- Defective building work
- Delayed building work or abandonment of work
- Disagreements as to payment claims and schedules
- Negligence claims for bad quality of workmanship against a builder
- Non-completion of building work
- Significant differences in contract price
- Unclear or confusing ambiguous contractual language; and/or
- Variations that have not been agreed, nor put in writing.
Sunshine Coast building and construction disputes can be complicated, so we would always advise contacting a building and construction litigation lawyer for advice and/or assistance.
More information on how our Building and Construction Lawyers can help you.
Commercial Litigation Lawyers Sunshine Coast
As the name suggests, commercial litigation lawyers can advise and assist with all disputes which arise from a business or commercial setting.
Commercial disputes can include the following:
- Breach of contract
- Australian consumer law disputes
- Construction disputes
- Partnership disputes
- Misleading & deceptive conduct
- Debtor/creditor disputes
- Intellectual property disputes; and/or
- Shareholder disputes.
If you have a business or commercial dispute, then our commercial litigation lawyers can help.
Follow this link for more information on commercial disputes – Commercial Disputes
Civil Litigation and Personal Disputes
Civil litigation is the broad term used for almost any civil dispute.
Stonegate Legal use several strategies to attempt to resolve civil disputes quickly, commercially, and with the least amount of costs.
Our civil litigation lawyers offer advice and assistance in the following civil disputes:
- Administrative reviews / appeals.
- Estate litigation
- Insurance disputes
- Nuisance & Trespass; and
- Property damage.
If you have a civil dispute, then our Sunshine Coast civil litigation lawyers can help.
Follow this link for more information on commercial disputes – Civil Litigation
If the relationship between the director(s) of a company and its shareholders breaks down, then there are a few ways to resolve a company and shareholder dispute.
These can include the following:
- Resignation or the purchasing or selling of shares
- Negotiation of the company and shareholder dispute
- Voluntary administration / liquidation of the company; and/or
- Court action to resolve the company and shareholder dispute.
I will explain these in more detail below.
One possible way to resolve a shareholder dispute is to sell your shares.
If the parties just cannot agree on a resolution, and a party thinks it is in their best interest to do so, then a share sale might be the best option.
Then all the disputing parties can move on.
Litigation lawyers on the Sunshine Coast is almost a misnomer. A good litigator is a negotiator first, and a litigator second.
Most disputes resolve by negotiation.
If the parties are prepared to compromise, then negotiation will likely be the best option to resolve the company and shareholder dispute.
Voluntary Administration / Liquidation of the Company
In very limited cases of larger companies, it might be beneficial for the company to appoint an administrator to settle the dispute.
This is an expensive option and not suitable for most smaller companies.
Finally, if all other methods of dispute resolution fail, then you can seek orders from the Court.
This is an expensive option and it is usually in everyone’s best interests to resolve the company and shareholder disputes before Court.
The types of Court orders can include:
- Appointing a receiver or a receiver and manager
- An order regulating the future conduct of the company
- Repealing or modifying the company constitution
- An order for a person to do a specific thing
- An order injunction stopping a person from doing a specific thing; and/or
- An order winding up the company in insolvency.
If you are involved in a company and shareholder dispute, then contact us here.
Consumer Litigation Lawyers Sunshine Coast
A common type of dispute that we see are consumer disputes.
A consumer dispute arises when there is a disagreement between a consumer and a trader. Common disagreements include:
- Misleading a deceptive conduct
- The goods/services not fit for purpose
- The good/services are defective
- The goods/services are not as advertised; and
- A lot more.
There are a number of provisions in the Australian Consumer Law (“ACL”) which can provide remedy in consumer disputes.
The ACL provides for consumers rights and guarantees, including:
- Compensation for damages & losses
- Consumer guarantees
- Provides for express warranties.
- The ability to cancel services; and/or
- The right to repair or replace or refund.
We act for both businesses & consumers in consumer law disputes. Contact us today.
One of the most common types of dispute is a breach of contract.
In Australia, a breach of contract occurs when a one or more of the contracting parties does not perform the obligations required under the contract.
A breach of contract can also occur when one or more of the contracting parties demonstrate an unwillingness or inability to perform their obligations under the contract or substantially in accordance with the contract.
There are a number of different forms of breach of contract and legal remedies. There are three (3) main forms of breach of contract:
- Material breach of contract or breach of a fundamental or essential term of the contract; and
- Anticipatory breach of contract or repudiation of the contract; and
- Minor breach of contract or breach of a non-essential term of the contract (also known as an innominate term of the contract).
If you want to terminate a contract, then it is vital that you speak to suitably qualified contract lawyers.
Read this detailed article on breach of contract in Australia for more information.
Debt Disputes, Debt Recovery & Collection
Our Sunshine Coast debt recovery lawyers are experts in debt recovery and the enforcement of money orders.
A debt can be legally recovered by following this procedure:
- Sending the debtor a lawyer’s letter of demand
- Filing a claim and statement of claim in the Court
- Getting judgment against the debtor
- Enforcement of that judgment in the Court with a warrant or Court order
- Enforce the judgment with a statutory demand or bankruptcy notice; and/or
- Bankrupt the debtor in the Federal Circuit Court or wind them up in the Federal Court.
It is actually very rare that a debtor will make a creditor take all of the above steps.
It is more usual that at each stage of the proceeding, the debt dispute will settle and be over by negotiation.
Our debt litigation lawyers on the Sunshine Coast are experts in debt recovery and the enforcement of money orders.
Defamation Litigation Lawyers Sunshine Coast
Defamation in Queensland is the negligent or malicious publication of a false factual statement which harms the reputation of a person or small business.
To bring an action for defamation as a company, the company must have fewer than 10 employees, or must be against a natural person, and must satisfy three (3) requirements:
- There was a publication; and
- The publication named you personally (or strong implication); and
- The publication was defamatory.
A defamation is subject to a number of defences.
To commence a defamation action:
- The aggrieved person gives the publisher a concerns notice;
- Within 28 days after receiving the concerns notice, the publisher makes an offer to make amends (if at all).
If the publisher does not believe that the imputations published were defamatory, or are subject to the defences, then the publisher can write to the aggrieved person and make this claim.
The aggrieved person may then be free to commence legal action and seek damages.
It is vital that you seek legal advice in relation to defamation as soon as possible after the publication, or after receiving the concerns notice.
Read our defamation article for more information.
Dividing Fences and Neighbour Disputes
Our litigation lawyers on the Sunshine Coast offer advice and assistance in relation to dividing fences and neighbour disputes.
This can include dividing fences or nuisance neighbours.
Dividing Fence Disputes
A dividing fence dispute can arise when a neighbour:
- Damages the dividing fence by attaching shade sails, washing lines, and carports
- Demolishes or destroys a dividing fence without consent of the neighbour
- Disputes the cost of repairing or constructing the dividing fence
- Disputes the nature of the repairs to be done or type of dividing fence to be constructed
- Disputes the placement and/or the alignment of the dividing fence; and/or
- Refuses to pay their share of the cost of repairing or constructing a dividing fence.
Disputes with dividing fences are dealt with by the Neighbourhood Disputes (Dividing Fences and Trees) Act 2011 (Qld).
Further, QCAT has jurisdiction to hear dividing fence disputes.
Neighbour Disputes in Queensland
Neighbour disputes in Queensland can be stressful and may seriously impact the use and enjoyment of your real property.
If you have not found the relief you need by a getting peace and good behaviour order, then you may be able to commence legal action for nuisance and trespass.
Nuisance is the unlawful interference with your use and/or enjoyment of your land, or some right over it, or in connection with your land.
Trespass is the direct, forcible, and wrongful interference with you or your land or chattels.
If successful, then you can sue your neighbour for compensatory damages, aggravated damages, and exemplary damages.
If you are awarded damages, then you can enforce the judgment over the property of the neighbour.
Read our detailed article on nuisance and trespass in neighbour disputes.
Employment Disputes, Wage Theft & Unfair Dismissal
Employment disputes occur when a person is treated unfairly in the workplace.
The different types of employment disputes can include:
- Adverse action claims
- Bullying and harassment claims
- Sexual harassment claims / discrimination
- Unfair dismissal claims
- Unpaid or underpayment of wages and entitlements (wage theft).
- Wrongful termination claims
Employment / workplace disputes are generally covered by the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).
The process is usually negotiation, then a complaint to the ombudsman, a mediation or conciliation, and if you have still not resolved the workplace dispute, then filing in the Federal Court or the Federal Circuit Court.
Wage Theft in Australia
Wage theft is the non-payment or underpayment of your legal entitlements by an employer, including award wages, penalty rates, and overtime.
The term wage theft can take several different forms, including:
- Being paid cash-in-hand
- Cash-back contracts
- Illegal phoenix activity
- Unlawful deductions from your wages
- Non-payment or underpayment of superannuation
- Incorrect payment of hourly rates or award
- Unlawful sham contracting; and
- Unpaid overtime and penalty rates.
Wage theft is now a crime in Queensland subject to section 391(6A) of the Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).
If you have had your wages stolen, then contact our lawyers today.
Read our detailed article on wage theft and the non-payment of wages.
Intellectual Property Disputes
Intellectual property (IP) is one of the most valuable assets to any business.
Unlawful use of your intellectual property will be a breach of your copyright and trademarks rights.
If someone is infringing on your copyright or trademark, then this could have a serious impact on your business.
We act for both rights holders and alleged infringers in copyright and trademark disputes.
Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution
There are a few different types of alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) including:
- Expert determination; and
A good Sunshine Coast litigation lawyer will attempt to settle a dispute, rather than going to Court if possible.
If a matter can be settled by negotiation, adjudication, arbitration, conciliation, expert determination, or mediation, then in most cases this will yield a better result for the client.
Personal Bankruptcy Litigation Lawyers Sunshine Coast
Bankruptcy occurs when a person is insolvent, is unable to pay his/her bills when they are due and payable, and a bankruptcy trustee is appointed to administer the estate.
During the bankruptcy process there will be:
- A trustee – appointed to manage the bankrupt’s financial affairs.
- A debtor – owes the debt and is unable to pay; and
- A creditor – is owed the debt by the bankrupt.
At Stonegate Legal our lawyers work to protect the rights of creditors, trustees, and debtors.
If you are a bankrupt and you need help, then our Sunshine Coast bankruptcy lawyers can help you.
Read our detailed article on what bankruptcy lawyers do.
Corporate Insolvency / Liquidation
Corporate insolvency occurs when a company is insolvent, is unable to pay debts when they are due and payable, and a liquidator is appointed to wind up the company.
During the liquidation process there will be:
- A liquidator – appointed to wind up the company.
- A debtor company – owes debts to creditors and is unable to pay; and
- Creditors – are owed the debt by the debtor company.
At Stonegate Legal our lawyers work to protect the rights of creditors, the debtor company, and the liquidator of the company.
If you are a creditor, a director of a debtor company, a liquidator, or a third-party, then our insolvency lawyers can help.
Residential and Commercial Lease Disputes
Residential tenancy disputes and commercial lease disputes arise when there is a disagreement regarding a term of the tenancy agreement or the commercial lease.
Commonly, the main dispute will arise from non-payment of rent.
If a dispute arises in relation to a residential tenancy or a commercial lease, then there is a process which should be followed:
- First – issue a notice to remedy breach; and
- Secondly – if the breach is not remedied, then proceed with Court / Tribunal action.
Residential Tenancy Disputes
In relation to a residential tenancy dispute, the relevant legislation is the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (QLD).
The types of orders that a person can get under this action are:
- A termination order – terminating the tenancy agreement
- Money order for the unpaid rent
- Warrant of possession – for the police to evict the tenant; and
- Compensation for failure to leave.
Stonegate Legal can provide advice and assistance with all residential tenancy disputes.
Read our article on unpaid rental arrears in Queensland.
Commercial Lease Disputes
In relation to commercial lease disputes (not retail shop leases), the relevant legislation is the Property Law Act 1974 (Qld).
An example of the notice to remedy breach is a PLA form 7.
The lessor will be entitled to re-enter or forfeit the lease in the event of the lessee failing to comply with the notice within a reasonable time.
A lessee can make an application to the relief against forfeiture in the Supreme Court if they do not agree with the content of the notice, or the dispute cannot be resolved before the time set in the notice to remedy breach.
Contact us for all residential tenancy or commercial lease disputes.
Wills and Estates Litigation, Contesting a Will
If you have been inadequately provided for in a person’s will, then you can make a claim against the deceased estate for a further provision.
This is called making a family provision claim (colloquially known as contesting a will).
To bring a family provision claim, the applicant must be:
- The deceased’s spouse
- The deceased’s child; or
- The deceased’s dependant.
An eligible person must adhere to the following time frames:
- Six (6) months of the death of the deceased – To give written notice of their intended application; and
- Nine (9) months of the death of the deceased – To then commence the legal action.
If successful, then the applicant will be further provided for in the deceased’s will, or more likely the estate will settle the dispute with the applicant.
Contact our lawyers for a confidential chat about making a claim against a deceased estate.
Litigation Lawyers Sunshine Coast
OR CALL: 1300 545 133 FOR A FREE PHONE CONSULTATION
What do Sunshine Coast Litigation Lawyers do?
Our litigation lawyers on the Sunshine Coast know the legal system, the Court processes, and the civil procedure in Queensland.
This allows us to provide litigation legal services in Queensland, including:
- Pre-litigation and initial advice
- Costing litigation matters and advising on costs
- Commencing legal action, the filing and serving process
- Drafting pleadings and particulars
- Responding to legal action as a defendant / respondent
- Guidance with evidence and disclosure / discovery of evidence
- Briefing of counsel and all interactions with barristers
- Negotiations to reach the settlement of disputes
- Preparing for and representing you at trial
- Drafting affidavits and draft orders
- Drafting and obtaining default judgments
- Bringing or defending interlocutory applications
- The enforcement of judgments and money orders
- Appeals and appealing a decision; and
- Making or defending costs orders, objections, and reviews of costs.
I will explain these in more detail below.
Pre-Litigation and Initial Advice
Arguably one of the most important steps in the litigation process.
Pre-litigation advice will advise you in relation to the potential causes of action, prospects of successfully litigation your dispute, and the legal costs involved.
The pre-litigation advice should determine if you should make a claim in Court or identify any other potential methods to resolve this dispute.
Costing Litigation Matters and Advising on Legal Costs
Part of the pre-litigation advice will be to advise on legal costs.
Legal services are expensive, and so it is important that you are made aware of the legal fees before the litigation matter commences.
The advice on legal costs will also advise on the amount of costs you can recover if successful in the litigation. If the party is successful in the litigation, the party will never recover 100% of their legal costs, so the costs advice should also identify this.
The costs advice would also advise on the risks of an adverse costs order if the party is unsuccessful.
Once advised, the client will have the knowledge to form an opinion as to commence litigation or not.
Commencing Legal Action, the Filing and Serving Process
If the client decides to commence legal action then litigation lawyers on the sunshine coast will advise and assist clients in relation to commencing legal action, filing the originating process in the Court with jurisdiction, and serving process on the defendant(s).
Different courts have different jurisdictions. They are:
- Claims up to $25,000 – QCAT
- Claims up to $150,000 – Magistrates Court
- Claims from $150,000 to $750,000 – District Court; and
- Claims over $750,000 – Supreme Court.
Once filed, the process will need to be served on the defendant(s).
There are strict rules in relation to service of documents, so it is important that service is made correctly, and the evidence of service is filed in the Court.
Read our article on legal proceedings.
Drafting Pleadings and Particulars
Further pleadings can include a defence and counterclaim, and a reply to the defence, and an answer to the counterclaim.
Once these are done, pleadings are essentially closed (save for amendment).
A party can also request further and better particulars. Rule 157 of the UCPR says that a party must include in a pleading particulars necessary to:
- Define the issues for, and prevent surprise at, the trial; and
- Enable the opposite party to plead.
If a party has not provided sufficient particulars, then the other party can request further and better particulars.
Briefing of Counsel and all Interactions with Barristers
It is also necessary to brief a barrister to assist with the Court proceedings in some cases.
Barristers are specialist lawyers who assist in advocacy in court cases and prepare the pleadings for those court cases.
Barristers commonly only accept briefs from solicitors, and do not usually take direct briefs from clients.
Our Sunshine Coast litigation solicitors have a referral network of great local barristers in Brisbane and on the Sunshine Coast.
Responding to Legal Action as a Defendant / Respondent
If a defendant has been served with a claim, statement of claim, or an originating application, then the defendant / respondent will usually have 28 days to respond.
If the defendant / respondent does not respond to the claim / application within the correct timeframe, then this could have serious consequences for the party – including a judgment being entered against them.
If you have been served with a claim, statement of claim, or an originating application, then it is vital that you contact a litigation solicitor on the Sunshine Coast as soon as possible.
Guidance with Evidence and Disclosure / Discovery of Evidence
After pleadings have closed, the parties must then make disclosure of their evidence to the other party.
The evidence gathering should be commenced as soon as possible and should continue until the disclosure stage.
Your litigation lawyer will advise on the types of evidence needed to support your allegations of fact in pleading, and to disprove the opponent’s allegations of fact in their pleading.
A litigation lawyer will also advise on non-party disclosure and gathering expert evidence.
The disclosure / discovery stage is very important as it is about gathering all of the evidence needed to support your case.
Negotiations to Reach the Settlement of Disputes
At any stage in a legal proceeding the matter can settle. Just because legal proceedings have commenced it does not mean that the parties cannot reach an agreement.
Sometimes the dispute can settle on the morning of the trial.
At every stage in a legal dispute, you should be making offers to settle the legal dispute early.
This can either be done by writing Calderbank v Calderbank offers or making offers pursuant to the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 (Qld) (“UCPR”).
An offer to settle is made pursuant to rule 353 of the UCPR.
It is almost always advantageous to try to settle legal proceedings early.
Drafting Affidavits and Draft Orders
A party may also be required to file affidavits in the Court.
The most common is an affidavit of service. This is simply an affidavit which provides evidence that a document was served on the other party.
There are strict requirements for the evidence allowable in relation to affidavits.
Bringing or Defending Interlocutory Applications
During the course of the legal proceedings there are a lot of interlocutory applications that a party can bring or have to defend.
If a party has not done what they are required to do, then the other party may have to make an interlocutory application for an order that they do it.
Typically, this can include:
- An application for further and better particulars & interrogatories
- An application that the other party disclose further documents; and
- An application for anything within a legal proceeding.
It is common for there to be a few interlocutory applications in a proceeding if it goes to trial.
Drafting and Obtaining Judgments
There are three (3) ways to obtain judgment:
- Default judgment
- Summary judgment
- Judgment after a trial
Default judgment – If the defendant does not file a defence within the requisite time then the plaintiff can apply for a judgment in default. This will be judgment for the full amount, plus the costs and interest.
This is a simple on-papers request from the registrar with no need for an oral hearing.
Summary Judgment – If the defendant does file a defence, but there is no defence to this matter then a party can apply for a summary judgment if the court is satisfied that:
- The defendant has no real prospect of successfully defending all or a part of the plaintiff’s claim; and
- There is no need for a trial of the claim or the part of the claim.
Summary judgment is a lot harder to get and will only be given in the clearest of cases.
This application is before a Magistrate or a Judge and requires an oral hearing.
Judgment at trial – obviously this is given to the successful party at the conclusion of the trial for the litigation or dispute.
Preparing for and Representing you at Trial
If the matter cannot settle, then a Sunshine Coast litigation lawyer can prepare for, and represent you at, the trial of the proceeding.
The trial of the proceeding allows both parties to make their case and provide their evidence.
It also allows the parties to give their evidence in chief and to cross-examine the witnesses.
The purpose of legal proceedings is to obtain a judgment or enforceable order. If you get a judgment or enforceable order, you may still have to enforce this judgment or order.
The Enforcement of Judgments and Money Orders
There are several different ways that a money order judgment can be enforced, either in the Courts or with insolvency.
Enforcement in the Courts includes applying for a number of different warrants or seeking orders such as an order for payment in instalments.
To gather the required information, the successful party must conduct an enforcement hearing.
Read our article on enforcement hearings here.
Appeals and Appealing a Decision
If a party loses the trial or application, and there is an arguable error of law, then the party can appeal the decision to a higher court.
The party will have 28 days to file the appeal documents or seek leave to extend the time.
Appeals are expensive and it is very important that you seek the right legal advice first.
The loser in the legal proceeding will usually have to pay the legal costs of the winner.
Making or Defending Costs Orders, Objections, and Reviews of Costs
At the conclusion of a trial or application, the Court will often make a costs order. This can either be an order on the standard basis or on the indemnity basis.
A standard costs order will account for approximately 60% of the actual costs spent.
An indemnity costs order will account for approximately 85% of the actual costs spent.
If the costs cannot be agreed or settled, then the process for costs is:
- The party issues a costs statement with a breakdown of the legal costs incurred
- The other party can object to those costs by issuing a notice of objection
- If costs cannot be agreed, then the Court will appoint a costs assessor to assess the costs; and
- The costs assessor assesses the costs and provides a costs certificate with the costs payable.
If the party who has to pay costs does not agree with the costs assessor’s assessment, then they can make an application to have it reviewed by the Court.
It is a sensible idea to try to settle costs to stop incurring more costs on top of costs.
Litigation Lawyers Sunshine Coast
This article has outlined what types of litigation our Sunshine Coast litigation lawyers can do, and also the litigation process.
If you need any advice or assistance, then please contact our litigation lawyers on the Sunshine Coast.
Litigation Lawyers Sunshine Coast
OR CALL: 1300 545 133 FOR A FREE PHONE CONSULTATION