Civil litigation

We act for both claimants and defendants.

Our team has experience across a broad range of legal areas including civil and commercial litigation, property and commercial law, trusts disputes, inheritance disputes and company disputes. 

We offer representation for claimants and defendants in the Magistrates Court, District Court and Supreme Courts in Western Australia.

our services

How we can help you

The starting point is to talk to us at an initial consultation.

For claimants

Initial consultation

$385 inc GST

The starting point is for us to meet for a consultation of up to 60 minutes. During the consultation, we will gather the relevant facts from you, give you preliminary advice and develop a strategy to manage the situation.

At your consultation we will discuss:

  • The possible causes of action;
  • Prospects of a counter-claim;
  • Alternative avenues for resolution;
  • Will the respondent be able to pay?
  • How much will it cost?

The majority (if not all) of your disbursements (Court filing fees, service fees) and most of our legal fees are recoverable from your debtor if your claim is for more than $10,000. For matters involving debts less than $10,000 you are not entitled to recover legal fees paid to us.

Assessment

The outcome of most court cases turns more on the facts than on legal principles. So before commencing proceedings it’s important to assess the strengths of your case and the prospects of success. This can be time-consuming, but properly undertaken will save money and possible embarrassment in the long term.

We will:

  • catalogue and review relevant written material (contracts, correspondence, memoranda etc);
  • take from you a statement of your evidence cross-referenced to the documents;
  • consider the applicable legal principles;
  • deliver to you a written or verbal suggested strategy (or alternative strategies) based on what we learn;
  • make you a written offer (quote) for the further services that we expect that you will require.

Because we have no way of accurately calculating the time involved in advance. We charge for assessments on a timed basis. At your initial consultation, we will give you some indication of the approximate cost.

Mediation and negotiation

Most matters are resolved before trial, either at court-convened mediations or by negotiation. Subject to your instructions we will always explore the prospects of a mediated or negotiated settlement.

Points to consider:

  • Negotiations are best conducted with a full appreciation of the strengths and weaknesses of your case.
  • Most litigation is not clear-cut – if so it’s usually wise to consider a compromise. On the other hand if the outcome is not in doubt, you should not feel obliged to discount your claim.
  • Negotiate from a position of strength, and follow through with any threatened action.
  • Don’t over-invest in negotiations. Your opponent may attempt to maximise a weak position by engaging you in protracted discussions in the hope that you will simply give in to save time.
  • Sometimes it’s productive for you to communicate directly with your opponent (but not his lawyer). We strongly recommend that you first discuss with us proposed communications.
  • Often a good compromise occurs when neither party is satisfied with the outcome.

Litigation

Please refer to The litigation process for a summary of the procedures. We will bill you progressively for the expected stages of the litigation.

Most litigation (about 95% in the Supreme Court of WA) is resolved before trial. If your matter settles, we will not charge you for stages of work that we have not actually commenced.

Why choose us

Our experienced lawyers provide great service at competitive prices.
01.
Benefit from our experience

We’re a law firm with more than 35 years’ experience in litigation and dispute resolution. From straightforward debt collection to Supreme Court trials, these are core services of our firm.

02.
Excellent value for money

We price our services fairly and transparently. We advertise fixed prices for standard services. Otherwise, we will analyse your requirements before issuing a written quote.

03.
100s of happy clients

Our goal is to anticipate your needs and exceed your expectations. We offer friendly and efficient service. Read what our clients say.

Meet our team

We’re a tight-knit, multi-disciplinary team of lawyers, legal executives, accountants and software developers.  We’re also passionate community leaders, sportspeople, podcasters, musicians, parents… and proud that these interests inform our professional lives.

Legal Practitioner Director
Nigel is an experienced lawyer who leads the firm’s litigation and dispute resolution team. Having worked for Birman & Ride since 2011, he has experience in a wide variety of litigation matters including deceased estate litigation, family provision claims,……
Lawyer
Angus joined the team in 2018 as part of the firm’s law cadetship program while studying his juris doctor. He subsequently graduated from UWA with a juris doctor in 2021 and was admitted as a lawyer in April 2022…….
Legal Executive
Grace works with clients to resolve matters involving debt collection and estate administration. Grace joined Birman & Ride in 2020 as part of the firm’s law cadetship program. Grace comes from a background of hospitality and retail work, where……
Lawyer
Danica joined the team in 2022 as part of the firm’s law cadetship program and works in the Litigation team. She holds a Bachelor of Laws (with Distinction) from Murdoch University. Outside of the office Danica is interested in……

FAQs

A creditor’s statutory demand for payment of a debt (Form 509H) is the corporate equivalent of a bankruptcy notice. It requires a company to pay a debt within 21 days or apply to a court to set the demand aside. A company that does neither will be presumed insolvent and the creditor will then be able to issue winding up proceedings.

The liquidator is required to act in the interests of the creditors. He/she takes control of the company and its assets and manages its affairs without reference to the directors. He/she will sell the assets and may pursue any of the company’s claims against others – including its directors! The liquidator’s fees are payable from the company’s assets. The liquidator must lodge a report with ASIC as to the company’s affairs. Ultimately, the company will be deregistered.

No. If you successfully set aside the demand, it is open for the creditor to commence court proceedings against you in the usual way. In an application of this sort, the court is only looking at whether there is a genuine dispute or a genuinely asserted offsetting claim – it does not finally decide who is right.

You will usually be entitled to an order that the creditor pay your costs if you are successful in setting aside the demand. These costs are assessed in accordance with a legislative scale and are usually less than what you pay us.

No, the court rules require a company to be represented by a lawyer. Further, the law in this area is very technical and minor mistakes can be fatal to the application.

Immediately. If you don’t pay the debt within 21 days or apply to the court to set it aside, you cannot later challenge the demand.

The sooner you contact us, the more options we will be able to offer you. Whilst we will always do our best to help you, it takes time to prepare a court application. If you delay, we may not be able to assist you.

You may be able to challenge a demand if:

  • you dispute you owe the creditor the money;
  • the creditor owes you money (i.e. an offsetting claim);
  • if the demand is defective and that defect results in a substantial injustice (for example, the demand does not clearly state the amount you must pay); or
  • for some other reason (for example, the demand is an abuse of process).

You must file and serve your application on the creditor within 21 days of receiving the demand. There is no way to extend this deadline.

View the latest

From our blog

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Testimonials

What our clients say

Fantastic outcome. Thank you very much for your hard effort and great result. I am glad that after almost 6 years there is movement in a positive direction where the Estate is concerned.
Ms J
August 5, 2022
Thankful for the no nonsense approach. Once all the details of the case were laid out I was encouraged to not proceed as it would not achieve a better outcome.
Brendon Beahan
July 11, 2022
Nigel Siegwart has been working through a mediation process with our family. I have found him to be efficient and well prepared. He is the most competent lawyer I have had anything to do with throughout this mess. I really hope things can be resolved. Thank you.
Ms J
July 1, 2022
Hi Nigel, a quick note to express my gratitude and appreciation for the manner in which you have provided support to us over the last 6 months. I also add my thanks for the way you managed the mediation process and acknowledge that your staying the whole day enabled us to get a signed agreement at day’s end. Seeing your attention to process and commitment to your clients in a reasoned and fair manner evidenced to me that, regardless of the legal fine print, having the executors supported by competent counsel is critical to the outcome that was achieved yesterday. You may also be interested to know that, after yesterday’s proceedings, some of the siblings that had been questioning your suggestions and approach prior to the mediation have been singing your praises today!
Mr P
June 3, 2022
Dear Nigel, I want to thank you for your excellent work with our case. Your professionalism, experience and organization were extremely valuable to us all. Thanks .
Mr M
June 3, 2022
Hi Nigel, I just wanted to thank you for work on the mediation.  As you have probably gathered, I have been behind the scenes trying to get the family to have a united strategy for reaching agreement, and preparing them to settle it as a business arrangement.  I also was coaching them in negotiation strategy which also was helpful today.  Fortunately the hard work paid off… I was quite impressed in your conduct in the matter and feel part of the success was your approach in this.
Mr W
June 2, 2022

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