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Four Key Points About Summary Judgment for Your Commercial Dispute

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Commercial disputes can arise at any point, for example, when you and the other party have a particular issue in the course of business, such as with the quality of the goods you sell. When a commercial dispute arises, finding a resolution as soon as possible is essential. Commercial litigation for a commercial dispute is usually a last resort. Still, where you do use this, a summary judgment hearing may be helpful for your business where there is no real prospect of success for the claim or issues or defence to these. This article will, therefore, explain four critical points about summary judgements for the summary judgment procedure for your commercial dispute.

What Do I Need to Know About Summary Judgments for My Commercial Dispute?

There are many points to learn about summary judgments for a commercial dispute. We will highlight four key points below and explain them to you.  

1. What is a Summary Judgment for a Commercial Dispute? 

The first point you need to understand about a summary judgment for a commercial dispute is what a summary judgment is. A summary judgment is a particular procedure a court, such as a commercial court, may use, which means the case does not need to go to trial. It is where the court judges the commercial dispute on whether the whole claim is in question or only on specific issues. 

The court will do this where two particular circumstances exist. These are as follows:

  • where the claim or issues in question or the defence to either of these has no real chance of success in the case; and
  • where no compelling reason exists for the trial to go ahead.

If you do decide to apply for a summary judgment, you can do so about the following:

  • a point of law; or
  • the evidence you anticipate to be ready at trial, which can include a lack of; or
  • both of the above. 

Although rare, the court may sometimes decide that a summary judgment is needed and dismiss the claim or issue as appropriate.

2. When Might a Summary Judgment Be Necessary for My Commercial Dispute?

A critical point which is helpful for you to know is when a summary judgment might be necessary for your commercial dispute. When you fall into a commercial dispute, it is essential to take legal advice, particularly if you are planning court litigation. Therefore, your dispute lawyer can advise you if a summary judgment is necessary in your case. 

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A short answer to this question is that any commercial case may be suitable for a summary judgment. However, when a summary judgment is appropriate, no commercial trial will be carried out by the court. Therefore, a summary judgment would be unsuitable if your commercial case has complicated issues that require exploration through a trial.

3. Examples About the Usefulness of a Summary Judgment

A key point to understand is that a summary judgment for your commercial dispute can be a handy and advantageous option to resolve the disagreement. This can even be the case where you opt for a summary judgment, yet it is unsuccessful. Why? Doing so means the other party to your commercial dispute must show their evidence and argument before any trial continues. This gives you a tactical advantage. 

Here are some main reasons why a summary judgment may be helpful for your commercial case:

  • it is usually quicker than a full commercial case trial;
  • due to the above, time and costs are less;
  • you and your staff will not need to give evidence at the summary judgment hearing;
  • the case could be found in your business’s favour, and 
  • the commercial dispute achieves resolution sooner. 

4. Why Might a Summary Judgement Not Be Helpful for My Commercial Dispute?

Opting for a summary judgment for your commercial dispute may not be helpful for your business. You must understand this fundamental point about summary judgments. This is because there is a high standard you will need to meet to succeed with one where the burden of proof lies with your business.

You will have to prove that the other party to the commercial dispute has no real chance of success in the case, which is tricky. On the other hand, the other party will only need to prove to a court that it has some chance of success in a commercial trial.

Also, if you opt for summary judgments and are unsuccessful, the court can make you pay the other party’s legal costs. 

Key Takeaways

You may engage in commercial litigation if you find yourself in a commercial dispute. If so, you may apply for a summary judgment after taking legal advice. If so, it is essential to understand some key points, and this article explains four. 

The first key point about summary judgments is what they are. These are where the court gives a judgement on the case at an early stage so the case does not need to go to trial. It is also helpful if you understand that any case could be suitable for a summary judgment unless a complex issue is necessary for trial. It is also essential to comprehend why a summary judgment may be helpful for your commercial dispute and why it may not be. For example, it may be beneficial due to the speed of resolution, but it may not be if it fails and you have to pay high costs. 

If you need help understanding key points about summary judgments for your commercial dispute. In the UK, LegalVision’s experienced disputes and litigation solicitors can assist as part of our LegalVision membership. For a low monthly fee, you will have unlimited access to lawyers to answer your questions and draft and review your documents. So call us today on 0808 196 8584 or visit our membership page.

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Clare Farmer

Clare Farmer

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