Commercial litigation and civil litigation
What does litigation mean?
Litigation is the process or act of taking action. It refers to legal proceedings, legal action, legal disputes, a lawsuit or bringing a case.
Litigation can be further defined by splitting it into two main sub-caregories:-
(1) Commercial litigation and
(2) Civil litigation.
What is Commercial litigation?
Commercial litigation refers to disputes involving commercial entities like companies and partnerships.
What is Civil litigation?
Civil litigation refers to disputes involving individuals like a person who purchases a faulty item or neighbours who find themselves in a dispute over land.
What types of disputes can arise?
Disputes can arise out of many different situations for example:-
Contract disputes – a contract has not been performed as properly or as expected. This may result in a claim for breach of contract.
Negligence disputes – the goods or services of another are called into question or someone has been injured as a result of the negligence. This may result in a claim in negligence.
Consumer disputes – something has been purchased in-store or on-line and the consumer is unhappy.
A consumer dispute may result in a variety of legal dispute claims. The main 2 types of claims are for breach of contract or claims in negligence.
Intellectual Property disputes – infringements of copyright, patent, trademark, design rights and passing off.
Information Technology and software disputes – where there has been intellectual property, patent, copyright infringement or a contract has been breached
Neighbour disputes – a neighbour has taken land belonging to another.
We look at some more litigation dispute areas in more detail below:-
Construction and building disputes
When commercial or residential properties are being built sometimes problems can arise that the parties involved may find difficult to easily resolve by themselves.
An employer may request additional work to be undertaken or the scope of work may change. This may result in a dispute especially if terms are not agreed or confirmation of instructions are not sought.
A party may request an extension of time but in turn the delay may cause substantial loss and expense. Or a project simply runs late giving rise to a claim for liquidated damages.
The actual workmanship may be poor or the works may be defective giving rise to a claim in damages.
Commercial and residential landlord and tenant
These disputes relate to the lease or letting of property.
Examples of commercial landlord and tenant claims are:-
Breach of lease
Non-payment of rent
Possession of the land and buildings
Examples of residential landlord and tenant claims are:-
Possession of the property
Director & partner dispute
Directors have general duties that they must abide by. These duties include obligations to act within their powers, to exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence, to avoid conflict of interests, not to accept benefits from third parties, to declare interests in a proposed transaction or arrangement and to promote the success of the company. If a director fails to comply with their duties they can be held personally liable. Partners also have duties that they must comply with known as fiduciary duties which again can result in them being held personally liable if these duties are breached.