Lawyers For Business Disputes

Lawyers For Business Disputes



Commercial Litigation Lawyers Focused on Results

Aitken Whyte Lawyers understand the commercial realities of business. When things aren’t smooth sailing, we’re here to help navigate your dispute.

Our commercial litigators are business-minded, meaning we know you need efficient solutions. Our specialty is finding legal solutions that meet your business needs. This means resolving disputes efficiently, with the least disruption possible.

We’ve worked with:

  • sole traders;
  • partnerships;
  • small to medium businesses;
  • trusts; and
  • international companies.

Our lawyers will develop a strategy based on your business and your needs. Our focus is on achieving the results you need.

Have a question for a commercial litigation lawyer?

Types of Business Disputes Our Lawyers Can Help With

Businesses are built on relationships. The relationship between business partners; between company directors and shareholders; and the relationships between the business and its suppliers, vendors, customers, and clients.

It is natural for business relationships to go through periods of turbulence. Sometimes they are salvageable and can continue to everyone’s benefit. Sometimes you must take action to protect your business interests and your rights.

Our role is to:

  • examine the situation;
  • determine the best strategy based on your desired outcome; and
  • implement that strategy commercially, focusing on results.

As relationships can break down in various ways, you may face any number of possible disputes. We have outlined some of the more common business disputes we see below. This is not an exhaustive list of the disputes we can assist with and we are here to discuss your unique situation. These are, however, the types of business disputes we have significant experience in.

Contact us if you would like legal advice on the specific circumstances of your business.

Breach Of Contract

When a party fails to perform their duties under a contract, it can lead to a loss for your business.

You are entitled to rely on an expectation that they will carry out the contract. You may have made business decisions based on this expectation. Therefore, when the contract terms are not upheld you need to take action to rectify things.

Our litigation lawyers can guide you through the process if you need to sue for breach of contract. You may be able to seek an award of damages from the Court or an order that the other party perform the contract. Where the action in breach is damaging your business, we can assist you to seek an urgent injunction.

It is important to mitigate your loss after experiencing a breach of contract. This is one of the reasons it is crucial to seek legal advice as soon as you become aware of the breach.

For more information on contract disputes and the remedies available, see:

Lease Disputes

Our litigation lawyers are very familiar with commercial and retail shop lease disputes. We have helped numerous tenants and landlords to resolve their disputes equitably. Alternative dispute resolution methods can often keep business running smoothly for both parties.

Sometimes, however, a breach of the lease by either party can cause loss to the other. In these instances, you may need to:

Disputes can impact the running of the tenant’s business, and income for the landlord. As such, we understand the need to act quickly, particularly if there’s been a breach. When locks need changing or have been changed inappropriately, decisive action is required.

Our experience allows us to act quickly to achieve results. For more information on how to resolve a commercial or retail shop lease dispute, see:

Employment Disputes

Good employees can be a business’s biggest asset.

Disputes with your employees, however, can jeopardise the cohesiveness of your workforce.

A business may encounter disputes with its permanent employees, casual employees, or contractors. These disputes can arise due to various factors.

Our litigation lawyers have an in-depth knowledge of employment and industrial law. We will utilise this to reach the best outcome for your business, no matter the dispute. Some types of employment disputes we have assisted to resolve include:

  • disclosure of confidential information by an existing or former employee or contractor;
  • allegations of workplace bullying or harassment;
  • claims of unfair or unlawful dismissal;
  • disputes around the payment of entitlements at the termination of an employee’s employment;
  • disputes around redundancy;
  • allegations of discrimination;
  • allegations of adverse action or general protections claims;
  • breach of restraint of trade clauses or restrictive covenants in an employment contract;
  • allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace;
  • appropriately managing the summary dismissal of an employee;
  • ex-employees using a business’s trade secrets to compete with the business;
  • inappropriate conduct by an employee within or outside of work hours;
  • a former employee poaching the business’s clients; and
  • a client poaching a business’s employees.

For more in-depth information on the employment disputes we can assist you to resolve, see:

Disputes Between Directors of a Company

When two or more people are company directors, disputes can arise between them. They may not agree on the direction the company should go in; a director may breach their director’s duties; or one or more directors might exclude another from the running of the company.

In these cases, a strong governance structure can assist. Having commercial expertise, our lawyers can assist you to reach a negotiated resolution.

In some cases, however, this may not be the way to achieve the best result with regard to your interests. In this event, we are ready and able to pursue litigation to:

  • force the resignation of another director;
  • obtain an order for the company or a director to do or not do a specific thing; or
  • recover any loss you have suffered due to a director breaching their duties.

For more information on possible resolutions to company director disputes, see:

Shareholder Disputes

Disputes can also arise between:

  • shareholders in a company; and
  • company shareholders and directors.

As a shareholder, there may be times when you need legal advice to ensure your rights are being upheld.

The Corporations Act forbids shareholders from being oppressed, unfairly prejudiced, or discriminated against.

Our lawyers are experienced in assisting shareholders in oppression claims.

Minority shareholders may find they can apply pressure by bringing applications in Court. We have successfully applied to the Supreme Court to gain access to the books and records of a company. You may be able to apply to wind up the company on grounds of oppression.

Often, these applications can lead to a favourable settlement out of Court.

For further information on the options available to you as a company shareholder, see:

Partnership Disputes

A Partnership can be an effective business structure. It allows parties to combine their resources in a commercial venture.

It can also mean that the parties are jointly and severally liable for each other’s actions. This means they may assume each other’s risks and a significant degree of trust is required.

If your business partner has breached the Partnership Agreement, we can assist. Our lawyers have experience:

  • resolving Partnership disputes;
  • suing a business partner for loss caused by a breach of their fiduciary duty; and
  • assisting to dissolve Business Partnerships.

If you have found yourself in a dispute with your business partner, contact us for legal advice.

To read about the options to resolve a Partnership dispute, see:

Insurance Disputes

All businesses will need various forms of insurance to cover their operations.

A dispute with your insurer can frustrate your ability to continue running as normal. If your policy does not cover you for what you expect it to, an unexpected event could be ruinous.

Our lawyers have experience with insurance companies’ internal dispute procedures. In addition, we can escalate matters where necessary to make sure you get the desired result.

We have also successfully assisted clients in claims against insurance brokers.

In the event a broker does not take out sufficient coverage for your business, you may be able to pursue them. This can cover any damage to your business as another party is liable for your lack of cover.

For more information on the steps to resolve an insurance dispute, see:

Defamation And Injurious Falsehood

Protecting the reputation of your business is important, especially in today’s online age.

It is important to protect:

  • the reputation of your employees and senior management;
  • the reputation of your product or service; and
  • the reputation of your business generally.

False and/or malicious statements can cause your business to suffer economic loss. Malicious statements, for example, could be made about your business by a competitor.

Our lawyers have significant experience having negative online reviews removed for our clients. Our experience includes applying for pre-litigation discovery to identify anonymous publishers. We have obtained orders for Google LLC to disclose the IP addresses of reviews posted under a false name.

We have also reached favourable settlements for our clients with News Corp Australia. Misleading statements in journalism can damage your business and should be taken seriously.

In addition to having posts and publications removed, we can assist you to:

  • have the perpetrator issue a retraction or correction; and
  • prevent further defamatory statements from being made.

For more information about what constitutes defamation and how to respond, see:

Corporate Insolvency and Insolvent Trading

Company directors have numerous legal obligations and owe duties under the Corporations Act. They must act honestly and in good faith, and prevent the company from trading if it cannot pay its debts.

Company directors can be held liable for insolvent trading.

A director who breaches the Corporations Act may face civil and criminal penalties. Creditors can also bring an application to wind-up a company. A creditor may do this following the issue of a creditor’s statutory demand for payment.

Our commercial litigation lawyers can act for the company, company members, or director.

For more information on directors’ liabilities and possible defences to insolvent trading, see:

Debt Recovery

During business dealings, you may find that debtors do not always pay on time. This can be particularly frustrating when the debtor is another business or company.

When extending credit, you should be able to rely on an assumption that a company is solvent. This is also true if you supply a product or provide a service with invoice terms that you expect to be honoured.

Therefore, we know that when your business does not get paid you need a fast and successful plan of action.

Our lawyers can apply pressure on the debtor. Our experience allows us to comprehensively outline your options and act quickly.

We can assist you to issue a creditor’s statutory demand for payment within 21 days. If necessary, we can commence proceedings to wind up the company. If this pressure does not cause the debtor to pay, the company’s assets can be sold to satisfy the debt.

For more information on your options to recover monies owed, see:

Trust Disputes

Trust structures for businesses can be complex and, once set up, difficult to change. Disputes can arise between trustees and beneficiaries or directors of a trustee company.

We have experience with complex trust setups. Our lawyers can assist you in resolving disputes, should they arise.

Often, businesses set up as a trust are family businesses. We, therefore, understand there are personal relationships involved. It is desirable to maintain these, if possible, through alternative dispute resolution.

There are times, however, when litigation is necessary to protect your interests. Our lawyers are ready to defend your rights skilfully and aggressively when required.

Our lawyers can assist in resolving disputes relating to:

  • unit trusts;  
  • discretionary trusts; or
  • hybrid trusts.

Business trust disputes can arise due to the actions of the trustee (an individual or a company):

  • in managing the trust; or
  • when distributing income and capital to beneficiaries.

It can be challenging to dissolve a trust once established. Therefore, it is important to seek legal advice from a firm experienced in trust disputes if you wish to do so.

Call or send us a message to speak to a lawyer about your business trust setup and any potential dispute.

Aitken Whyte Lawyers Are Your Lawyers for Business Disputes

Commercial litigation is the intersection between business needs and legal solutions.

Aitken Whyte Lawyers enjoy a reputation as competent commercial and dispute resolution lawyers. We look after our clients and their business needs.

From our base in Brisbane, our lawyers can assist:

  • small to medium businesses owners; and
  • national and international companies.

If you’re ready to take the next step in achieving results for your business, give us a call. Our lawyers are happy to talk to you about the issue you’re facing and the solution you’re looking for. We’ll discuss your options and what we can do for you. Then, if you’d like, we’ll send you an overview of what we discussed. We’ll include clear and easy-to-follow steps if you’d like to move forward. If you have any questions at this point, just let us know. You can consider the information provided in your own time and get back in touch if you’d like to engage us.

When you need assistance to get back to business, turn to Aitken Whyte Lawyers.

Office Location and Contact Details


Aitken Whyte Lawyers Brisbane
2/414 Upper Roma Street
Brisbane QLD 4000

Ph: 07 3229 4459
Fax: +617 3211 9311