If you own a business, you have something of genuine value, and that automatically makes you a likely target for lawsuits. Potential threats to your business are everywhere. Which threats should you take seriously, and when should you hire a Toronto commercial litigation lawyer?
You may need a commercial litigation lawyer if your business is sued, if your rights are violated, or if a disagreement among business partners turns into a serious dispute. In many cases, a commercial litigation lawyer can negotiate a settlement before a dispute becomes a legal matter.
If a courtroom proceeding cannot be avoided, an Ontario commercial litigation lawyer will protect your company’s interests in court, and you’ll be able to focus on managing and running your business operation.
What Types of Cases Does a Commercial Litigation Lawyer Handle?
A number of situations can result in a lawsuit that may involve your business. Your business may need to file a claim against another business or party, or your business may be sued and you’ll have to defend it. On either side of a lawsuit, a commercial litigation lawyer can help.
Commercial litigation lawyers handle breach of contract cases, business and partnership disputes, labor and employment claims, intellectual property infringements, collection actions, tax disputes, and almost any type of legal matter that arises from a business-related dispute.
Breaches of Contract
Contracts are binding. What makes contracts special – and what makes them necessary in business – is that contracts are enforceable by the courts and legally binding. If one party does not meet its contractual obligations, the other may take legal action.
A breach of contract is the violation of a contract’s terms. These are the most common business disputes. The breach may be the failure to deliver particular items, the failure to pay for those items, the failure to pay for or deliver a service, or delivering the wrong items or damaged items.
A breach of contract can happen even if the contract isn’t in writing (although all of your business contracts should be in writing). If one party violates a contract and the other suffers a loss, the victimized party may file a breach of contract claim seeking compensation for the loss.
Business and Partnership Disputes
Without swift action, business and partnership disputes may harm a company’s reputation, alienate customers or clients, and damage other important business relationships.
A Toronto commercial litigation lawyer can quickly identify the key legal issues in a business or partnership dispute, develop an effective strategy for resolving the disagreement, and help your business move forward with the least possible disruption.
You should choose a lawyer who is a skilled and experienced negotiator and who is familiar with the mediation process. The best commercial litigation lawyers are committed to negotiation and mediation when litigation in the courtroom may not render the best outcome for a client.
Labor and Employment Claims
Employment and labor disputes include any claim an employee may make against your company or your company’s own claim to enforce its rights against an employee. Failing to take seriously complaints of harassment, discrimination, or wage-and-hour matters is never a good idea.
Businesses that take harassment and discrimination seriously have a much stronger case if they are sued over these matters. Consider including terms in your company’s employment contracts that clearly spell out your policies on the subject of discrimination and harassment.
Keeping comprehensive and accurate payroll records is the best defense against wage-and-hour claims. A lackadaisical or casual approach to record-keeping will not help you if an employee or a former employee files a wage-and-hour claim against you.
Intellectual Property Infringements
Intellectual property laws protect copyrights, trademarks, patents, and trade secrets. An intellectual property claim filed against you can probably be settled out-of-court – especially if you’re not guilty of infringement or if the incident was simply a misunderstanding or a mistake.
However, if another party has stolen your own company’s intellectual property – or if someone is exploiting your intellectual property and using it without your permission – consult an Ontario commercial litigation lawyer at once to discuss your legal rights and options.
Let a commercial debt collection lawyer handle debt collection on your company’s behalf. Your lawyer will act to secure assets, negotiate payment, and if necessary, swiftly take a collection matter to court and resolve it so that you may fully concentrate on operating your business.
Your lawyer will develop a strategy to recover the debt in a timely and cost-effective manner through either negotiation or litigation.
Debt collection sometimes requires an immediate injunction to freeze assets and stop the transfer of funds or the sale of real estate. Your lawyer can request any injunction you need as well as access to key documents and up-to-date information regarding a debtor’s financial activities.
If you believe your business is not being taxed fairly and accurately, a commercial litigation lawyer can help you understand the laws and challenge the Canada Revenue Agency. First, your lawyer will seek to reduce any penalties and to ensure that your business assets are not tied up.
If the CRA freezes your assets or demands payment even if you are bankrupt or insolvent, your lawyer will take the appropriate legal action to protect your interests pending a resolution of the dispute.
In What Other Ways Should You Protect Your Company?
Have an experienced Toronto business contract lawyer review each of your business contracts and other key documents. You should also have your lawyer draft the contracts you use in the future. Never sign a contract until and unless you know exactly what you are agreeing to.
The right personnel policies and practices put solutions in place before employment and personnel problems become legal problems. A commercial litigation lawyer can advise you regarding the policies your business may need to establish.
In addition to representing you in legal disputes, a commercial litigation lawyer can help you write a business plan, employee handbook, or any other document you may need to defend your business and prevent small complications from becoming big legal difficulties.
If you own a business in Ontario, you need quick solutions to potential legal problems so that you can focus on your ongoing business operations. Let a commercial litigation lawyer represent your business and help you resolve whatever potential legal problems you may face.