New Zealand is one of the most appreciated jurisdictions in the world when it comes to its legal system. Litigation cases are usually resolved in a timely manner in the New Zealand courts or through mediation and arbitration. Those in need of litigation services in New Zealand can request the services of local law firms.
Our law firm in New Zealand can guide foreign and local clients in litigation cases by offering them specialized support and customized services.
The court system in New Zealand
In order to understand how litigations are resolved, our lawyers in New Zealand have prepared a small guide on the court system in this country which comprises:
District Courts which handle most of the civil and criminal cases – there are more than 50 district courts in New Zealand;
The High Court is the next court which handles major criminal cases and also hears appeals which could not be solved by district courts;
The Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court are appellate courts which hear all the cases which have been tried by high courts;
Specialist courts which handle specific matters related to employment, family and environmental issues.
A useful note on the types of claims handled by the tribunals is the following:
- the Disputes Tribunal, operating under the Ministry of Justice
, has limited jurisdiction and will hear certain types of disputes with a value of no more than $ 35,000;
- the District Court handles almost all civil disputes where the amount in question is up to $350,000;
- in almost all cases, once the process has started with the help of our litigation lawyer in Auckland, the defendant has 25 working days to file a defence (calculated from the date the Claim and Notice of Proceeding were served to him).
The New Zealand court system is also made up by several tribunals. Our attorneys in New Zealand can help foreign citizens who need litigation services which must pass through one of the courts mentioned above.
Litigation services offered by our New Zealand lawyers
Our New Zealand law firm has a wide experience in various types of litigation cases and can offer assistance in the following:
- debt collection for foreign investors and companies seeking to recover outstanding amounts of money from local debtors;
- assistance in litigation cases related to contractual disputes for companies in New Zealand;
- legal advice in litigation cases related to employment matters for employers and employees in New Zealand;
- legal assistance in civil litigation cases, such as family disputes and immigration matters in New Zealand.
Other areas in which our team can be of service include construction disputes, building defect claims, insurance law, personal injury or medical malpractice claims.
Our team can assist clients both with criminal and non-criminal court proceedings, however, our litigation lawyer in Auckland has a good focus in civil litigation, the types of cases that are not criminal ones. In all our handled cases, we find the most suitable course of action and we also advise our clients on how to prepare themselves and how to avoid having the same type of dispute in the future (a strategy that is most suited to commercial cases where the client can benefit from implementing a series of steps that will help him protect against the same contractual disputes, for example).
Court processes in New Zealand
Understanding the process for a civil claim (those claims against another person or a corporation/organization) is a good step for those who wish to file a claim. In most cases, the general consensus is that the claim should be filed after the claimant has tried other dispute resolution methods and these have not produced the desired results (these methods are briefly outlined below).
Working with a litigation lawyer in Auckland is recommended as you will want to have a legal representative who will speak on your behalf in court. The general steps for going to court are the following:
Filing the documents: submitting your documents related to the case to court;
Serving: giving the other party copies of the documents that have been filed in court;
Making statutory declarations and affidavits;
Having the documents certified or witnesses, as applicable;
Serving the other party copies of the evidence brought to court (the disclosure phase).
The processes once the plaintiff and the defendant are in the court room can vary depending on the addressed court, either the District Court or the High Court. Our team of lawyers in New Zealand can give you more information on going to court.
Mediation and arbitration in New Zealand
Arbitration and mediation are two alternative dispute resolution methods that can be recommended by our litigation lawyer in Auckland in some cases.
Arbitration is the process of settling disputes with an arbitration – a trained professional; the decision issued as a result of this process is usually binding and final, and in some cases, it suffices for both parties, producing similar effects as having taken the case to court (because of the fact that it binds the parties to the resolution); nonetheless, in most cases arbitration is speedier than litigation and it can also have lower costs.
Mediation is a different process that is not legally binding, however, it can produce favourable effects in terms of negotiation and mutual agreements to solve a certain issue. The parties are assisted in their negotiation by a mediator – a neutral and trained third party who is there to guide them in a semi-formal manner, all within a confidential environment.
Written agreements may contain arbitration and/or mediation clauses. When this is the case, upon signing the parties agree to pursue these alternative methods to solve their disputes and only or if these fail to produce the desired effects reach out to a litigation lawyer in Auckland to take their case to court.
Adjudication and conciliation are two other alternative dispute resolution methods, the first being used in construction cases. Negotiation and expert witnessing can also be helpful during the course of a dispute and negotiation is oftentimes an essential part of any dispute when the parties are willing to sort out their problems together (assisted by their lawyers).
Finding the right solution will depend on the case (be it a commercial dispute or a family dispute) as well as the value of the claim and/or the existing contractual duties between the parties in conflict. Our litigation lawyer in Auckland can provide much needed legal counsel and representation, however, upon assessing your case we will also guide you through your alternative dispute resolution methods, should they apply in your case.
For more information on the litigation services we offer in New Zealand, so please feel free to contact our local law firm. We can also help foreign investors who want to open new companies or purchase ready-made companies in New Zealand.