Urgent business disputes and injunctions
How do you resolve an urgent legal dispute?
While court proceedings may take months (even years!) to resolve, you may be able to obtain an injunction from the court within a few days that will fix your problem (in the interim) while you await a final resolution, either via negotiation or by the court.
In this video, our Director, Alex Martin, discusses court injunctions – what they are and when it’s appropriate to consider one.
If you would like to discuss a specific concern, please do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced dispute resolution lawyers at Taurus Legal Management on (03) 9481 2000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hi, everyone. I want to talk today about what to do when you need a legal dispute resolved quickly. You don’t necessarily have time to wait a year, two years even, for the court to resolve your legal issue, but you need an outcome now. That’s the topic of today’s video.
I’m Alex Martin. I’m a commercial litigation specialist, and these are my No Bull Legal Tips For Business Owners.
OK, we’re talking today about resolving legal issues quickly. If you’ve had, say, a distribution agreement terminated, you might not be able to wait 12 months, 18 months or longer for the court to resolve who’s right and who’s wrong in the termination. You might need to continue to trade your business straight away, or if you have a franchise agreement that’s been terminated or if you have goods sitting on the dock waiting to be released from a supplier that you’re having a dispute with, you might not be able to wait 18 months for the court to order the release.
So, what do you do? The answer is you apply to the court for an urgent interlocutory injunction. What does that mean? It’s an urgent application to the court that normally will be heard within two or three days, and it’s interlocutory, which means it’s not final. So, you get an order that say the goods can be released or that the termination can’t be relied on for the moment until the court make a final decision, which will happen at the hearing.
You don’t actually resolve your matter entirely, but you will usually get an interim order which will preserve the status quo, or which will protect you so that the subject matter of the proceeding is not destroyed.
If your franchise agreement is terminated and you think the termination was invalid, you can’t wait for 18 months for the for the court to declare that the termination was invalid because you won’t be able to trade for the 18 months while you’re waiting. The court will say no. The franchise agreement stays in place until such time as the court decides who’s right and who’s wrong.
You’re able to continue to trade while you’re dealing with the substantive dispute, which might still take some time, but you can apply to the court within a couple of days and get an urgent interlocutory injunction to get an order that whatever the conduct that you’re worried about, gets set aside and so that you can still have a just hearing at the final hearing.
In terms of criteria for an urgent interlocutory injunction, you need to prove obviously that the matter is urgent. You need to also prove that the damages won’t be a satisfactory remedy. If it’s just a matter of not paying – you’re looking to recover some debts and you want to recover those debts quickly – the court won’t order an injunction. They’ll just say, “well, you can just collect the money later, and maybe interest can compensate you for the delay”.
So you need to prove that the matter is urgent and that money isn’t an adequate remedy to your problem. Also, you need to prove that on balance, when they’re weighing up the balance of convenience they call it, that’s weighing up their interest against your interests. It’s more just and more convenient to order the injunction than it is to not order it.