What To Expect With A Litigation Case (NSW)


Perhaps you have a litigation case coming up. You may have chosen to start civil proceedings against a person or a company for multiple reasons, or you may be opposing a case against you. 

Have you ever wondered what happens in a litigation civil case and what to expect? 

You could have questions like: how long is the case going to take and what are the stages of a civil case? 

These are important factors that you need to understand from the outset, so you have an understanding of exactly what’s going to happen. 

So let’s dive in. 

Reasons For Litigation 

Firstly, here are some of the reasons for a civil case: 

  • Recover debts or money owed by another party to you
  • Personal injuries or claims
  • Commercial disputes over contracts
  • Property disputes
  • Defamation claims
  • Insolvency disputes
  • Mortgage default claims
  • Services paid for but not provided 

It’s always advisable to go to court only when there is no other option in resolving your matter. 

How To Proceed With A Civil Court Case 

It’s important to note that an experienced commercial litigation lawyer, such as TY Lawyers in Chatswood can assist you with the entire litigation process whether you initiated the case or you’re defending yourself. 

A litigation lawyer will assist in which court jurisdiction is appropriate for your case - local, district or supreme, which forms to use for your case and the applicable fees. Each of these facilities have their own protocols and unique forms that need to be followed. Depending on how much the claim is worth will determine which jurisdiction will handle your case. 

Claims of up to $10,000 can be determined by the small claims division of the Local Court of NSW, as they are usually deemed less formal and technical. 

Steps In Civil Litigation Cases 

A case is started by filing a summons, statement of claim or, for some cases relating to companies, an originating process. It is then ‘served’ to the other party in the case - which is the formal process of providing a document to the other party. 

Formal steps in the litigation process: 

  • Determine where your matter will be heard (court or tribunal)
  • File paperwork applicable
  • If you are the one who is served statement of claim, you need to decide your stance on whether to admit to the claim or defend yourself. You have 28 days to respond
  • If you decide to defend the claim, you need to file a defence
  • If you are served with a summons, you will likely require legal advice and need to file an appearance document. You and/or your legal advisor need to be in attendance at court on the day of hearing 

How Long Will A Civil Litigation Case Take? 

Depending on the size and complexity of the case, civil case time frames can vary widely. A hearing date for your case may not be given for several months, however NSW civil case time standards outline that 100% of civil cases are resolved within 12 months of the initiation of proceedings which is a good guideline. 

You may receive a hearing date for a couple of months from the Judge at the first case management hearing, but this all depends on whether more evidence needs to be gathered and if all parties are ready to proceed. 

The Court will generally give an indicative time frame for finalising the case, however this is only an approximation. 

Get in touch with us today at TY Lawyers to discuss your commercial or personal litigation query and one of our experienced legal professionals will get back to you as soon as possible. Call TY Lawyers Chatswood on: (02) 8007 0135.


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