Disagreements at a personal and business level may require outside intervention to be resolved. This intervention can be by litigation in the courts,“alternative dispute resolution” (including mediation, conciliation and arbitration) in place of expensive and protracted litigation,“external dispute resolution", such as ombudsman offices at a government level or for specific industry sectors, including, banking or telecommunications, bodies supervising particular professions, such as lawyers, medical practitioners, etc.).  


Also even before reaching for these dispute resolution tools, many large corporations internal dispute resolution through customer service facilities.


Disputes are an area of law where time and costs may blow out. This may be one area where we cannot give fixed cost at the outset because a lot of work depends on the evolution of evidence and the reaction of opposing parties involved that cannot be anticipated. On receiving instructions we always make clear to clients the risks involved and the need to be pragmatic.

In all dispute resolution there are three key factors:


Am I going to win?

This requires revelation and digestion of all aspects of the dispute, consideration of the applicable legislation, and most importantly, review of precedent decisions in similar cases, and then weighing up the odds.


How much will it cost?

Litigation is expensive, generally, barristers will need to be engaged to appear in court, and charges are on a time basis. Outcomes are unpredictable as reactions of parties may introduce new and previously unforeseeable complexities. For some businesses litigation is just another tool in a coordinated campaign to outspend an opponent and achieve a successful campaign on a wider front.


Can I enforce this victory? 

There is no point in having damages awarded by a court against a person or a business that cannot pay. In a dispute consideration has to be given not only for the capacity of parties to their own legal costs, or those that may be awarded against them, but also chances of recovery against a bankrupt or liquidated opponent.


For these reasons calm, calculated consideration is needed at the outset and along the way with the evolution of the matter. Alternative and external dispute resolution can be more effective. Cost and prospects of enforcement may also move to a negotiated settlement. The key word is “strategy”. From the outset clients need to formulate a strategy.


What clients want to achieve?


What can be achieved, and how best can it be achieved?


Our job is to help formulate strategy and succeed in it.


At Hillman & Associates we look at interest of the client first and counsel accordingly.


How do we charge?


Fixed fees

For matters of litigation we will fix a fee for negotiation and advice up to commencement of litigation. If at that time a settlement has been negotiated to avoid litigation, then all fees are covered. If settlement has not been achieved and litigation commences, we will fix a fee for each step of litigation as it proceeds and request your acceptance of moving on to the next step and fees payable.


External costs

These are costs of third parties, including barristers, and experts in various fields. We will negotiate these on behalf of clients, and advise clients, as far as we can, of acceptability.  


Payment of anticipated costs

Generally, we will request a payment of anticipated fees or a substantial amount of them into our trust account on accepting instructions.

If you require any assistance, please contact us at info@hillmanlawyers.com.au or call us at             +61 2 9232 8392

© 2020 by Hillman & Associates. 

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