Commercial Dispute Resolution

When you need to take control

We’re your legal partners

Kott Gunning’s Commercial Dispute Resolution (Litigation) team is client focused. Whether it’s reaching a settlement or taking a matter to trial, we vigorously pursue our clients’ rights. We don’t just understand the case – we understand the business. We carefully consider all commercial and economic implications and strive for commercially effective outcomes. We adopt Alternative Dispute Resolution processes where possible to resolve disputes outside of the court system, saving time, money and relationships. Litigation is a last resort but if court proceedings are required, you are in good hands.


Commercial Dispute Resolution has been central to Kott Gunning’s practice for more than 95 years. We advise public and private companies, government agencies, local governments, small and medium enterprises (SME’s), and individuals. Our lawyers routinely commence and defend commercial actions in all relevant courts.

Tom Darbyshire heads up our highly experienced commercial dispute resolution team. He has substantial experience in conducting litigation, arbitration, and insolvency actions and frequently advises on matters such as enforcement of securities, corporate governance and director’s duties particularly in an insolvency context. Senior partner Laurie James AM has been with Kott Gunning for more than 50 years and is a senior accredited mediator, Grade 1 Arbitrator, Adjudicator and WA Energy Disputes Arbitrator. He can also conduct binding and non-binding expert determination.

Our Commercial Dispute Resolution team is active across all of Kott Gunning’s practice areas, and works closely with the non contentious property, building and construction and planning teams. We identify and resolve issues to prevent the escalation of disputes between parties.


Kott Gunning provides litigation, mediation and arbitration services across all sectors and industries including building and construction, agribusiness, SME’s, insurance, government and commercial real estate. Recent examples include:

  • Major Construction Contracts Act adjudications.
  • John Park regularly acts for developers and builders in various matters in relation to building and construction and strata disputes.
  • Advising local governments, customers and suppliers on the collapse of building companies.
  • Pursuing injunction proceedings and damages claims for a market regulator.
  • Acting for various landlords.
  • Acted on several complex Federal Court matters regarding breaches of confidentiality, misleading or deceptive conduct and allegations of passing off and breaches of the Trade Marks Act.
  • Acted for owners in a major arbitration arising out of a terminated building contract.
  • Providing advice and training on prosecutions, Privacy Act, insolvency, whistleblower protection and entry powers.
  • More recently, advice on the legal aspects of cyber security.

What we do

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Litigation
  • Administrative law
  • Compliance
  • Contractual disputes
  • Corporate and commercial disputes
  • Competition and consumer law
  • Debt recovery and enforcement of securities
  • Employment and safety disputes
  • Franchising
  • Insolvency and reconstruction
  • Intellectual property disputes
  • Inquiries and investigations
  • Leasing disputes
  • Negligence
  • Prosecutions
  • Property disputes
  • Strata disputes
  • Partnership disputes
  • Shareholder actions and director’s / officer’s liability
  • Cyber, data protection and reputational risk
  • Cyber fraud
  • Wills, Estates and Trust disputes