Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution

Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution

We are experienced litigation lawyers and are able to assist with your case, whether you are the Plaintiff suing, or the Defendant being sued.

Litigation, even in the more relaxed environment of the Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal, is often a very technical process, requiring adherence to strict rules of evidence and conduct.  It is easy for a non-lawyer to trip themselves up and cause material harm to their case.  For example, it is possible to inadvertently waive your rights to claim legal professional privilege, which may result in your opponent obtaining copies of documents that may reveal key details about your strategy and advice.

There is no doubt that litigation should be considered an avenue of last resort.  It is time consuming, expensive and, often, the outcome is uncertain.  What should you do if you cannot reach a resolution, and litigation seems inevitable?

This is where Alternative Dispute Resolution may be useful.


Alternative Dispute Resolution is a catch-all name for a range of alternatives to litigation.  These alternatives may include:

  • Informal mediation without a mediator (often called a roundtable conference);
  • Formal mediation with the assistance of a mediator;
  • Arbitration; and
  • Conciliation

Each of these has a common goal and purpose – to assist the parties to resolve their dispute quickly and with the least expense possible.  Another advantage of the alternative dispute resolution process is that the settlement may remain confidential, which is often important where confidential information – such as trade secrets – may be revealed during proceedings.

Peter Speakman & Co Lawyers are here to assist you whether your matter involves formal litigation or a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution.  Contact us to discuss your situation.

The mediator will introduce all the people attending and ask everyone to agree to a process to be followed or some ground rules. The mediator will give each party a chance to explain what they think the problem is. The mediator will help the parties to discuss the problems they have described

Mediation is an informal and flexible dispute resolution process.
The mediator’s role is to guide the parties toward their own resolution..

Conciliation is similar to mediation but is normally used when there is a particular legal dispute, rather than more general problems. A conciliator will normally be there to encourage the two sides to come to an agreement between themselves, whereas a mediator will often suggest their own solution.

conciliation conference aims, if possible, to help you (the parties) reach an agreement on the financial issues arising from the breakdown of your relationship and, if there are also parenting issues, to help resolve them. You are expected to make a genuine effort to reach an agreement at the conciliation conference..

A ‘round table‘ conference is an informal mediation, conducted without a mediator with your lawyer.
An expert who may assist with settlement negotiations, like an accountant, may also attend the conference.

A round table conference can be very cost effective if your matter is settled.

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