Commercial litigation pertains to any kind of dispute that exists in business. To choose the best commercial litigation solicitors it’s necessary to understand what a commercial litigator does, how the commercial litigation process works, and how a commercial litigation solicitor can help.
There are many different areas that commercial disputes arise. Typically, a commercial litigation solicitor will deal with issues such as:
- Banking disputes
- Disputed debts or the recovery of debt
- Contractual disputes
- Professional negligence
- Disputes over commercial property
Some solicitors will specialise in particular areas of commercial litigation law while others will deal with an array of disputes and have experience in everything listed above.
What Occurs Prior to Proceedings Beginning?
Commercial litigation solicitors understand methods of dispute resolution including negotiation, arbitration, and mediation. Solicitors utilise these methods to achieve the most desirable outcomes for their clients.
Parties that are involved in the dispute are normally required to delineate specific claims as well as responses in what is referred to as pre-action correspondence. This is usually referred to as a Letter Before Action or a Letter of Claim.
It’s extremely important that a claimant’s claim is accurately made from the outset hence it is recommended for a claimant to get advice at the beginning of the claim from a commercial litigation specialist.
For those that are facing a claim, they should seek advice about how it’s best to make a response.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Often during courtroom litigation contentions, an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is used.
When it is used, ADR may be in the form of negotiations occurring through correspondence. ADR can also occur through an informal meeting or by way of a more formal arrangement such as arbitration, adjudication, or by mediation.
It is part of a commercial litigation solicitor’s responsibility to inform their clients as to which type of ADR is best suited to their requirements.
If a Case Remains Unresolved What Happens Next?
Should court proceedings be imminent because a resolution which occurs outside the court remains unachievable the commercial litigation solicitor has the necessary expertise to advance such a dispute to any one of the following:
- County Court
- High Court
- Specialist Tribunals & Courts
After that, the litigation solicitor will prepare required documents which generally involve Particulars of Claim and a Claim form.
The commercial litigation solicitor might recommend to their client that the best way forward is to instruct a barrister to conduct the drafting of these papers. This is because usually, it will be a barrister that argues the case if the case does go to trial.
Before making a claim it may be necessary to obtain expert evidence and witness statements depending on the circumstances.
Once a claim has been filed by a claimant, it is up to the defendant to file a defence against the claim. If a defence is not filed the claimant can get a judgment without any delay.
After a defence is filed by the defendant the parties involved must agree as to when the matter will be progressed to court. Sometimes it is also necessary to work out costs budgeting at this stage so that the parties involved in the dispute are aware of the costs that will be incurred.
Should the parties fail to come to an agreement about progressing the matter to court or should the court not agree to the proposals offered by the parties, an initial hearing will typically be set so that a judge is able to confirm court dates and budgets.
The disputing parties must then deal with witness statements, the disclosure of any and all additional documents, as well as other expert evidence to be given before the final hearing or trial takes place.
The commercial litigation solicitor may wish to put their client’s argument to the court themselves or they may instead decide to brief a barrister to represent their client. In any event, the solicitor must attend the trial to provide assistance to the barrister or to act as an advocate.
After the dispute is settled or a judgment has been made, dispute resolution and litigation solicitors will ensure that the settlement or judgment is enforced.
Commercial litigation law is complex and legal advice from commercial litigation solicitors is best obtained as early on in any dispute as possible, which makes choosing the best commercial litigation solicitors something you cannot delay for too long.