Bdf Law

Dispute Resolution & Litigation

Our principal is a skilled negotiator and advocate with broad experience working across commercial litigation, civil litigation, estate disputes and employment law. We can help with a range of legal disputes and offer a personalised approach, with practical solution-focused outcomes to meet your needs.

Our litigation and dispute resolution services include:

  • Building disputes
  • Commercial and financial disputes
  • Contract disputes
  • Consumer law and protections
  • Workplace disputes
  • Local Government reviews and Administrative Appeals
  • Court appearances at both the Magistrate’s Court and Supreme Court including equity, lower court appeals and administrative appeals
  • Mediations in the Supreme Court, Magistrate’s Court, Federal Court and informal
  • Drafting deeds of settlement, regulatory and statutory notices, forms and demands

Alternative Dispute Resolution

When a legal dispute arises, the parties involved are usually encouraged to explore alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods before resorting to litigation. ADR methods include negotiation, mediation, and conciliation. These processes aim to facilitate a mutually satisfactory resolution without the need for formal court proceedings, can save time and costs and help preserve business relationships.

Negotiation is usually the first step in dispute resolution, where parties attempt to reach a settlement through discussions. Negotiation allows parties to present their positions, exchange information, and find options for a resolution that meets their interests. It can be conducted directly between the parties or through their respective legal representatives.

Mediation is a more structured form of ADR, involving the assistance of a neutral third party, the mediator. The mediator facilitates communication between the parties, helps identify issues, and assists the parties to reach a voluntary agreement. Mediation is non-binding, meaning that the parties are not required to reach a settlement, but it often leads to successful resolutions.

Conciliation is a process in which the parties to a dispute try to reach an agreement with the help and advice of an impartial person, referred to as a conciliator. The conciliator usually has some experience of the matter being disputed and can advise parties of their respective rights and obligations. Equal opportunity disputes are often resolved through conciliation.


Arbitration is a form of dispute resolution where the parties agree to submit their dispute to an impartial arbitrator. Arbitration is often used to resolve building disputes or when other forms of ADR have not worked. The arbitrator acts as a private judge and renders a binding decision, known as an arbitral award. Arbitration proceedings are generally less formal than court proceedings, providing parties with flexibility and privacy.


Litigation is the process of initiating proceedings and presenting evidence and submissions to have a legal dispute determined by a relevant court. It is the most formal example of dispute resolution with various courts established to hear different types of matters with different thresholds.

Litigation starts with a ‘claim’, often a demand for the payment of money or the rectification of some form of agreement. If the other party does not comply with the request, the matter goes to a court for a judge (or other judicial officer such as a magistrate) to make a decision on who is right. A court can make orders to enforce its decision, such as garnishing wages to pay a debt.

Litigation can be an effective means of resolving a dispute but is usually best left until all other avenues have been exhausted or for cases where an urgent order is being sought. Families involved in estate disputes and neighbours who need to live in harmony should think carefully before going down the path of litigation which can often cement differences. Similarly, when the dispute involves businesses that have ongoing commercial relationships, litigation can sever any real chance of mending bridges down the track. That said, there may be a time when litigation is your best or only option to resolve your conflict. In such cases, we have the required skills and expertise to fight hard to enforce your legal rights.

If you need assistance, contact [email protected] or call 03 6331 5627.