Commercial Disputes and Litigation

It is an unfortunate reality of business that even despite the best of intentions and efforts, things can go wrong, and businesses may end up being involved in commercial disputes and/or litigation.

Some of the most frequent commercial disputes include:

  1. breach of contract;
  2. debt disputes;
  3. partnership or shareholder disputes; and
  4. consumer disputes

Sometimes, in fact, commercial disputes will involve two or more of these types or other types of disputes.

Breach of contract

In a nutshell, a breach of contract dispute occurs when two or more parties have entered into a contract and there is a belief that one or more of those parties has breached their obligations under the contract. These disputes can relate to any number of contracts, including:

    • services agreements;
    • employment agreements;
    • sale/purchase agreements;
    • partnership; or
    • shareholder agreements.

No matter whether you or your business is the party others believe has breached an agreement or the party who has been aggrieved by a breach of contract, we can assist you in understanding the situation and provide advice about your rights in that situation. We can act on your behalf to protect your rights and take steps to reach a resolution to the breach.

Debt disputes

Debt disputes are one of the most common commercial disputes and can involve situations where one party has refused to make payment of certain amounts, or there may be a dispute as to whether the dispute is actually owed. In other situations, the dispute may not be regarding whether there is a debt, but the amount that is owed for that debt.

Partnership or shareholder disputes

Partnership or shareholder disputes are disagreements between owners of a business. Often, these disputes will involve some sort of contractual dispute relating to a partnership agreement (where the business is run by a partnership) or a shareholder’s agreement (where the business is a company). You can find more information about the difference between these two business structures here.

Sometimes, though, a dispute may arise where there is no contract in place between the parties, and so the general law must be considered, including the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).

At IM Lawyers, we are aware of the unique relationship between owners of a business and recognise the years and time that have been put into building up that relationship and the business the parties own together. We ensure to take these important factors into consideration when advising clients in relation to partnership and shareholder disputes.

Consumer disputes

Consumer disputes relate to the obligations all businesses have to ensure their products and/or services are meeting minimum requirements set out in the Australian Consumer Law in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth). You can find more information about consumer disputes here, and how IM Lawyers can assist both consumers and businesses regarding these types of disputes.

Resolving a commercial dispute

There are several ways commercial disputes can be resolved between parties, and there is no ‘one size fits all’ method to be applied to all disputes. The best method for each individual dispute will depend on the unique relationship between the parties, the history of the dispute and the motivation of the parties to resolve the dispute.

Alternative dispute resolution

IM Lawyers is specially equipped to assist you in taking steps in an effort to avoid having to progress towards the costly litigation processes in your disputes. We understand that often common ground can be found, and that time and cost pressures may mean that litigation is not always required.

We have extensive experience in representing clients through various types of Alternative Dispute Resolution practices, including settlement conferences, mediations or informal negotiations.

This experience gives us the ability to advise our clients of ways their dispute may be resolved with lower costs, less time and less impact on relationships and taking into consideration their (and their business’s) unique circumstances.


Litigation of a dispute involves taking the dispute through more formal steps through the court system. The unfortunate reality is that sometimes litigation cannot be avoided to resolve a commercial dispute.

IM Lawyers is experienced in commercial litigation. We provide expert advice to our clients every step of the way through the litigation process, right from the initial drafting of pleadings to hearings and trials.

How IM Lawyers can help you during a commercial dispute

At IM Lawyers, we understand the strain that a commercial dispute can place on a business, and we aim to find the least stressful and most cost-effective solution for each client. For a free initial consultation about how we may be able to help you with your commercial dispute, please contact us here.

Call now to arrange an initial free consultation

1800 001 339

It costs you nothing to find out where you stand.

For commercial litigation matters, we will most likely agree an hourly rate after the initial obligation-free consultation.

We may send incremental invoices (for example, monthly) or bill you at the end of your matter. Whichever way you are invoiced, it will be communicated to you at the beginning of your matter.