As said on our Mediation page, after violence, litigation is the most unsatisfactory method of resolving disputes. It generally takes long, is expensive, destroys relationships and creates uncertainty and anxiety. That is why we advise that before a client commences with commercial litigation, mediation is first considered.
However, when mediation fails or is inappropriate, or where an opponent has no interest in a speedy resolution of a dispute and plays for time, litigation is the only option available. What is then important, is that it is conducted with focus, speed and skill.
Commercial litigation is a team effort, involving the client, his attorney, an advocate with the appropriate knowledge, skill, experience and temperament for the specific case, the client, and often experts. The selection of the right team is vital and requires insight, good judgement, a firm understanding of human nature and knowledge of which advocate or expert would be appropriate for the specific matter.
Strategy is also vitally important. There are always many battles to be fought in any matter. However, to save time and money, it is of the utmost importance to choose your battles carefully. Many a meritorious case has floundered or become bogged down due to a party launching an ill-advised interlocutory application or giving an opponent grounds for employing delaying tactics. When deciding on how to conduct commercial litigation, it is of the utmost importance to be aware of and control the momentum of the matter to the client’s best advantage.
Of course, commercial litigation also demands the normal requirements of specialisation, diligence, accuracy, hard work, tenacity and creativity from the attorney handling the matter. The High Court is a crucible and any shortcomings in character, knowledge, skill, commitment and judgement are soon exposed and punished.