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INFORMAL DISPUTE RESOLUTION

It is a fundamental policy of our law firm to always attempt to resolve disputes of any nature informally in the first instance.

 

We strongly believe in the following legal maxim:

‘The Court should only be used to resolve a dispute when all other means to resolve the dispute have failed.’

 

The good news for home owners, builders, property developers, commercial contractors and our many other clients, is that the majority of disputes handled by our law firm are resolved informally, and on good terms.

Litigation within the Court is expensive. It is good practice for all lawyers providing legal services to people in the home building industry to try every available option to resolve a dispute informally and quickly.

Marc Hutchings and Associates Building and Construction Lawyers have an excellent record of resolving disputes on very good terms for our clients. Approximately 80 to 90% of all client cases are resolved informally and with minimal expense incurred. We are very proud of our track record in keeping our clients out of the time consuming, expensive and emotionally exhausting experience of judicial dispute resolution.

 

When acting for clients we utilise the following steps:

  • Our solicitors personally attend the building site or place of business of our clients and discuss the dispute.
  • Informal negotiation between the parties take place in accordance with our client’s instructions.
  • If informal negotiations are unsuccessful, mediation is suggested and pressed with the opposing party.
  • Where possible, conciliation and arbitration are considered and pressed with the opposing party.
  • If the above steps are unsuccessful, then the matter is prepared for the commencement of litigation in accordance with client instructions.
  • Attempts to resolve the dispute are often made during the litigation process.
  • If all the above attempts are made and are unsuccessful, the matter is resolved by way of a court hearing.

Recovery of legal costs is always a prime consideration to us on behalf of our clients.

In New South Wales, parties to a legal dispute have the opportunity to mutually utilise Alternative Dispute Resolution, and other resolution measures at their disposal.

 

Marc Hutchings and AssociatesBuilding and Construction Lawyers can advise you on the options available to you to explore the alternatives to litigation.

In the first instance, it is common for home building disputes to be referred to the NSW Office Of Fair Trading to attempt resolution by mediation. We suggest visiting their website at www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.auto obtain further information.

When contacting the NSW Office Of Fair Trading it is possible to request the intervention of a Building Inspector to assist you by:-

  • Having the dispute referred to a building inspector for telephone assistance
  • Having the building inspector attend the site and speak to both parties
  • Assist the parties to achieve a suitable outcome
  • Record in writing the terms of any resolution reached by the parties
  • The building inspector may issue a Rectification Order where work is to be completed or rectified by a certain date
  • If the Rectification Order is not complied with a trader may become subject to disciplinary action

We recommend the following commonsense approach when dealing with another party in the early stages of a dispute:

  • Listen to the other party and try to put yourself in their position
  • Ask for documentary evidence to verify the facts
  • Obtain initial legal advice to understand your legal obligations
  • Negotiate face to face in a calm and professional manner
  • Utilise the government and professional organisations that are available to assist you

Keep in mind, the vast majority of cases involving home building can be resolved successfully on an informal basis with some give and take by both parties.

Call us now on (02) 9460 6202 or 0421 695 571 anytime Monday to Saturday.

 

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