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Dispute Resolution


COMPENSATION


S+P Lawyers has a dedicated and experienced compensation team headed by Ben Carroll.

We advise our clients as to their potential rights and compensation — no claim is too big or small. Our senior practitioners aim to maximise results in a timely manner. Between them, they have over 60 years’ experience in insurance and negligence claims.

Our experienced, approachable team will work together to help you make informed decisions and resolve your claim as efficiently as possible. We aim to exhaust settlement negotiations and if it becomes necessary, provide you with options for litigation.

Unfortunately, legal restrictions prevent us from offering even general advice on these matters on our website. If you believe you might have an entitlement to compensation, please contact us on 1300 277 000 as soon as possible so that we can provide you with appropriate advice, especially relating to any time limits that may apply.


BUSINESS & COMMERCIAL DISPUTES


Sound commercial decisions are the basis of any successful business. Our team has the depth of experience to enable us to address all your commercial disputes. We know that our clients have different needs and we will approach your dispute based on your unique situation and requirements.

There are many ways of resolving disputes, both within and outside the court system. We are very familiar with all of these options and pride ourselves on our ability to advise our clients on all the methods available to them to reach a practical solution.

While we appreciate that litigation is not always the best option for our clients, when it is necessary, we have experienced and pragmatic litigators to represent you. We have experience in conducting litigation across a number of jurisdictions, including local, state, federal and administrative forums. Our dispute resolution team is experienced in resolving disputes across a wide range of areas including:

  • Banking, finance and mortgage law
  • Building and construction law
  • Insolvency and bankruptcy
  • Corporations law
  • Franchise disputes
  • Contractual claims
  • Trade practices and consumer law
  • Directors and officers’ duty and liability
  • Debtor management and recovery
  • Insurance Property and leasing
  • Intellectual property law
  • Employment law
  • Partnership/shareholder disputes
  • Leasing disputes
  • Co-ownership disputes

    ESTATE LITIGATION


  • Contesting a Will, Will disputes, and Challenging a Will…With an aging population and the nuclear family no longer the status quo, thoughtful, expert estate planning culminating in a professionally prepared Will and related documents can help avoid the trauma and cost of litigation at an emotional time following the death of a loved one.

    Have you been unfairly provided for in a Will?

    Even though the law recognises a person’s right to choose who will inherit his or her property, there are often very good reasons why you might contest a Will. If you feel you have been unfairly left out of a Will, we can help you dispute, contest or challenge the Will to ensure you receive all that you deserve from the Estate.

    If you want to contest a Will, we strongly recommend you seek prompt legal advice to ensure that your entitlements are fully protected. Normally you must make a claim within 12 months of the deceased’s passing. In some circumstances, exceptions can be made.

    We are able to offer a no-win, no-fee cost agreement in most matters relating to Will disputes and we offer a fixed fee service up to conclusion of mediation.

    Contesting a Will

    Common reasons you might contest a Will include:

    • When the deceased makes no provision or inadequate provision for a de-facto partner (including both heterosexual and same-sex relationships)
    • When the deceased has three children and leaves his or her estate to two children in equal shares with no provision for the third child
    • When the deceased makes no provision or a lesser provision for a step-child, an out-of-wedlock child or an adopted child
    • When the deceased leaves only a life estate in the matrimonial home to his or her partner
    • When monetary gifts have not kept pace with inflation or the size of the estate

    Defending a Will

    We have acted for many executors in defending claims against an Estate. Sometimes, claims are made by people with an inflated sense of entitlement. There are many reasons why someone has been left out of a Will or not provided with an equal share. This often happens in small estates where the deceased felt a moral obligation to provide for a spouse over adult children.

    There could well be other problems within an Estate that can give rise to litigation regarding the validly of a will or the bequests made to various people.

    1. Lack of Testamentary Capacity Claim
      A beneficiary of an earlier Will can challenge a more recent Will if the deceased person did not have the mental capacity to understand what he or she was signing.
    2. Undue Influence Claim
      A beneficiary of an earlier Will can challenge a more recent Will if the deceased person was “unduly influenced” by another person to sign a Will that did not reflect that person’s true wishes.
    3. Breach of Trust Claim
      A beneficiary under a Will or trust can apply to the court to remove an executor or trustee who fails to administer the trust properly. The beneficiary can also seek compensation if they suffer financial loss as a result of wrongdoing by the executor or trustee.


      ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION (ADR)


      ADR is a process through which an impartial person helps to resolve the issues in a dispute. The benefits of ADR may include:

      • Quicker resolution of disputes
      • Help identifying and focusing on the specific issues in a dispute
      • May be a cheaper option than proceeding through the courts
      • Can be done privately

      ADR processes may take on different forms. In facilitative processes, such as mediation, the ADR practitioner uses a variety of methods to assist parties to identify the issues and reach an agreement.

      Advisory processes such as conciliation, expert appraisal or evaluation, employ a practitioner to actively advise the parties about the issues and range of possible outcomes.

      Determinative processes, such as arbitration, use more formal techniques to inform the arbitrator so that he/she can determine an award that will resolve the dispute.