CIVIL LITIGATION & DISPUTE RESOLUTION
In 1997, when Chris Lucas joined an already bustling legal practice, the firm had become accustomed to instructing barristers for court work. Around that time Garth Lucas had made a policy decision to fully understand and follow every case that was briefed out. The decision had far reaching consequences.
In the drive to stay close to what was going on, we became exacting about quality. We found ourselves intervening to change the course of litigation.
It meant working closely with clients getting facts straight to avoid surprises down the line. The more we did, the more the barristers wanted us to do. Our research capabilities expanded. We started putting whole cases together, drafting pleadings, and writing up the evidence.
Our success coincided with new “no surprise” court rules. What is “going to be said” must be filed in advance. Written material may dominate the hearing. The most decisive moment may occur when the Judge reads the file.
The last documents exchanged before trial are written submissions. Quality is critical. Cases often settle on the strength of those submissions.
Our 20 year strategy is simple. We focus on preparation, and it works. Our clients generally either win or settle on favourable terms.
- Engage and listen – We listen to you. We need to know the touch-points for you and the strengths and vulnerabilities of all sides.
- Research and strategy – It’s essential to FIND SOME LEVERAGE and to identify the best strategy – preferably before engaging the court process. In practice, this thoroughness means it is easier to hold your ground. We put our knowledge, experience and research capacity at your disposal.
- Assemble a powerful written presentation – The Judge and everyone concerned must see the clear and reasoned argument for the results you need. Where the law is changing and policy questions are important these must be addressed.
- Reasoned argument until the matter is resolved – Disputes can be draining. Litigants who want good results must hold their nerve. We help our clients do that.
We have acted:
- in trust cases including dishonest assistance, and knowing receipt, and to remove trustees
- in family protection, contesting a will and testamentary promise claims
- in relationship property cases
- against breach of contract
- in business and consumer disputes
- in debt action and terms of contract disputes
- in land matters including leasing disputes
- sale and purchase
- boundary and title disputes
- easement and covenant issues
- commercial leasing and cases under the Property Law Act
- in company and shareholder disputes and issues involving directors’ and shareholders’ rights and obligations
- in Worksafe Health and Safety prosecutions, and Public Works Act proceedings
- in insolvency and contribution claims between guarantors, and personal property securities issues
- to obtain emergency court orders including injunctive relief
- for employers and employees and for immigration clients
- in cases involving civil wrongs of conversion and negligence
We also act in arbitrations and in mediations where parties are assisted in reaching to their own settlements.
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