1. Know Why You Are Doing This
Litigation is a very stressful activity. It’s usually not worth it. An alternative way of resolving a dispute is usually the best way of organising an end to the problem at hand. However if you are proceeding with litigation, make sure it makes commercial sense. Litigation because “you want to teach Mr x a lesson” is NEVER worthwhile. You usually end up with a disappointing result and hating your lawyers (except us of course!).
2. Have the Resources Ready
Litigation is unpredictable and expensive. It’s like my grandfather used to say about going on holiday: “Pack and do a budget. Next, halve your clothes and double your budget. Then you are ready for your holiday.” Likewise with litigation: plan your budget then double it so you take into account all those pesky interlocutory applications and complications that inevitably arise.
3. Choose Lawyers that Have a Plan
If your lawyer has a plan to get you out of your situation then you are half way there. Endless litigation that drifts from one application to the next is a wonderful way for us lawyers to make money. However it’s not a good way for you to preserve your mental health and your savings. When selecting your lawyers, make sure they can give you a litigation plan.
4. Organise Your Evidence
Anyone who comes to the first meeting with their lawyers with their papers in order and a chronology of events has already saved thousands of dollars. The more work you can do to be organised, the more money you will save in legal fees.
5. Keep Your Communications Efficient
DO NOT ring your lawyers three times a day. DO NOT shoot off that tenth email for the day. Let your lawyers do their job. Of course you want to update them with thoughts, new evidence and queries. However it is far more efficient to do so once or twice per week rather than bombard your lawyer. It also ensures that your lawyer won’t miss an important detail that inevitably gets lost in their inbox.