What is commercial litigation?
Commercial litigation describes any area of dispute resolution which is related to commerce. Obviously this is a very broad term, as it is relevant to every aspect of the spheres of commerce and law. Much commercial litigation is focussed on the law of contract. This is because an agreement is fundamental aspect of virtually any business relationship and a contract is the legal expression of an agreement between two parties. Disputes in business can often arise about the interpretation of a contract, the termination of a contract, the formation of a contract or any aspect of the business relationship which people enter into so often in commerce. When this relationship breaks down commercial litigation is the result. It becomes necessary for both sides of relationship to protect their interests and eventually sue because of the fact that a the person or legal entity which they had entered into a relationship with has failed to honour their agreement for whatever reason.
Another very common area of commercial litigation is under s.52 of the Trade Practices Act (Cth) which is the piece of legislation that states that a corporation shall not in trade or commerce engage in conduct which is misleading or deceptive or that is likely to mislead or deceive. The variety of situations in which it may be perceived that a corporation has mislead or deceived someone else is endless and the breadth of this legislation is such that it is considered to be overtaking the doctrines of equity and in some cases unconscionable conduct as a remedy for conduct under a contract which is misleading or deceptive. It has created an enormous amount of litigation. Other areas of litigation which have been related to commerce include insolvency which is where a large company has become bankrupt and there is a dispute between all of its creditors over who gets paid what at the end of it. There is also product liability law which is an area that deals with the protection of consumers in relation to the products that companies manufacture and sell in the general marketplace. Companies are often sued for damages on the basis that their products have caused an injury to someone or caused damage in some way to another person. This is another growing area of commercial litigation.
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