Litigation & Dispute Resolution

We will use our experience to get you the best possible result while minimising stress

There are many ways to resolve disputes, whether they are between family members, business partners or neighbours.

We take a sensible, commercial, approach to all dispute resolution situations.

We know that court proceedings can be very expensive, time-consuming and cause stress to all parties involved. This is why we will explore Alternative Dispute Resolution to solve a dispute prior to involving the courts.

Alternative dispute resolution methods seek to resolve disputes without going to court and involve negotiation, mediation, facilitation, conciliation, and arbitration. The advantages of these alternatives are that they are less formal, more cost effective, consume less time than going to court and the results are more specific to your needs.

However, if necessary we have the experience and knowledge to prosecute your case in the appropriate court or tribunal.

Mediation is a popular alternative dispute resolution technique in which the parties meet with a skilled mediator who is an independent person who working with the parties encourages them to reach a solution to their dispute.

Estate Disputes

Do you believe that a family member has failed to adequately provide for you in their will?Do you believe that a family member’s will was executed under the influence of a third party?

We can provide advice on the likelihood of the success of a particular claim and the best method of approaching such a dispute.

Commercial Disputes

We have assisted clients in a wide range of commercial disputes including breaches of contract and misleading and deceptive conduct.

Debt Collection

Getting onto debt collections issues early is important. If you are owed money by a creditor we can assist in chasing up debts and if necessary pursuing debts in the appropriate court.

Neighbourhood Disputes

We are experienced in helping our clients solve disputes with their neighbours. Disputes are common regarding fence construction and location. We have achieved positive outcomes for clients and always endeavour to avoid litigation whenever possible.

Our Dispute Resolution Lawyer

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Will Elder


Will has been a partner at Phillips & Wilkins since 2019. He has developed a broad commercial practice in which he advises clients on business…

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What is alternative dispute resolution?

Alternative dispute resolution is any form of dispute resolution that avoids the need to go to court. Court is expensive and inherently uncertain. Mediation is a popular alternative dispute resolution technique in which the parties meet with a skilled mediator who is an independent person who working with the parties encourages them to reach a solution to their dispute. We will always try to settle a dispute on commercial terms outside of court so that our clients avoid the cost and uncertainty that court entails.

What should I do if I am served with a summons?

You should speak to a lawyer immediately and provide the documents with which you have been served to them. A summons contains strict deadlines that if missed can lead to a summary judgment being made against you which means you do not have an opportunity to present your case to the court. It is not always possible to reverse a summary judgement and any attempt to do so is expensive.

Do I need to go to Court?

This always depends on the factual scenario in each case. You should discuss whether it you need to attend with your lawyer.

Which court should I use?

This depends on the circumstances of your case. The major courts in Victoria are the Magistrates Court which can hear commercial disputes up to $100,000, the County Court and Supreme Court which do not have any limit. The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has court like functions but is technically not a court. You should speak to your lawyer about which venue is appropriate for your dispute.

What is arbitration?

Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in which an independent third party is appointed by the parties to the dispute to make a binding decision to determine the dispute. The parties would typically enter into an arbitration agreement that appoints the arbitrator and sets the rules of how the dispute will be decided, they present evidence and legal arguments to the arbitrator through a hearing or simply providing documentation and then the arbitrator would make a decision. The process is similar to traditional litigation through a court or tribunal but is significantly cheaper and generally reaches a decision much faster. If a party is aggrieved by the arbitrator’s decision they may only appeal it under certain circumstances and generally only to the Supreme Court of Victoria.


One of our Litigation & Disputes team will contact you for a free chat about your legal requirements.