Avoiding litigation as far as possible is always the smart move. Not only is litigation a costly process, but it can also be a mentally and physically draining process as well. Choosing the right litigation strategy and understanding how to avoid litigation through dispute resolution can save you a lot of money.
An example of when these techniques worked well was when our client, a large property developer, entered into a contract to purchase a property. to redevelop as part of a large managed investment scheme that operated different projects around the Brisbane, Australia area. The property owners were a couple who did not understand contracts or how to handle disputes and unfortunately, neither did their lawyer. The contract contained a term whereby our client was allowed to remove a tree on the property before settlement. This was required as our client wanted to make an application to Brisbane City Council to develop the property. If the application was made with the tree on the property, the Council may have forced our client to retain the tree and our client wanted it removed. Due to a misunderstanding between the lawyer and the property owners, permission was given to our client without the knowledge of the property owners to remove the tree. The property owners tried to negotiate a change to the conditions by placing strict conditions on our client entering the property. Rather than going to court, the parties were able to negotiate a resolution that was acceptable to both parties, the tree was removed and the property was redeveloped as required by our client.
I have always taken the view that it is in a business owner’s interest to avoid litigation as far as possible for the reasons set out in this chapter. Sometimes it is unavoidable, but every effort should be made to avoid litigation and only use it as a last resort.
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