August 1, 2019
Did you know, in the eyes of the court, commercial litigation is a last resort? They expect you to try other methods of dispute resolution first. Court proceedings can be long and complicated and, before you decide to make a claim, it’s important to consider the following five factors carefully.
1. Legal expenses
The commercial litigation process can be very expensive. Progression of the case is unpredictable and it’s impossible to estimate the final costs. The losing party will usually be expected to cover the opponent’s legal fees. But you have to keep in mind, a ‘win’ is never guaranteed – and even if you are successful, it’s rare for all expenses to be paid and you’re still likely to be out-of-pocket.
Before contacting a solicitor, it’s a good idea to review your finances. Could you afford the hefty bill? Or do you have suitable insurance in place? If not, you may wish to invest in an ‘after-the-event’ insurance policy, find a third-party funder or avoid legal action entirely.
2. The opponent’s finances
It’s also important to consider your opponent’s financial situation. You may be determined to resolve the issue. But if they don’t have sufficient assets, commercial litigation could be a waste of time, effort and money. Even if you win, the judgement would be worthless and unenforceable.
3. Future business relationships
Did you have a good relationship with the opponent in the past? If so, you could be cutting off your nose to spite your face. The commercial litigation process often leads to animosity. It could potentially ruin your business relationship and remove any chance of a partnership in the future.
As such, it’s often beneficial to try alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques first. These allow you to discuss the matter openly and can help you to resolve the issue in an amicable manner.
Legal proceedings can be a lengthy process. Simple disagreements can take around 12 months to reach trial, whereas more complex disputes can take many years. You need to be prepared to put the hours in, both to prepare the case and give evidence. And if you need a quick decision, ADR techniques – such as adjudication – are often a speedier, more effective option.
5. Disclosure of documents
As part of the commercial litigation process, you will be legally obliged to disclose any relevant documents – even if they are confidential or unhelpful to your case. Think about this carefully. If these documents could severely jeopardise your chance of success, is it worth going ahead? A specialist commercial litigation solicitor can offer advice on this, before you start legal proceedings.
Further guidance on commercial litigation
Still unsure whether commercial litigation is the right option for you? Feel free to get in touch!
Here at Prosperity Law LLP, our team have excellent knowledge and experience in this area. They will listen to your concerns, carefully consider your situation and give their professional opinion on whether litigation would be worthwhile. If it is, we have a team of commercial litigation solicitors in Liverpool and Manchester – who can then guide you easily through the legal process. Simply give us a call on 0161 667 3686 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you.