Johnston Withers

Litigation and dispute resolution lawyers.

Disputes are an unfortunate but sometimes an unavoidable part of our personal and professional lives.

Our litigation lawyers are here to help with all kinds of dispute resolution matters, from contested estates and trust litigation to intellectual property disputes and debt recovery in Adelaide and South Australia.

To protect your rights, it may be necessary to bring or defend a claim through mediation, arbitration, tribunal or the courts. If this happens, an experienced litigation and dispute resolution lawyer can represent your best interests and focus on the outcomes that are important to you.

How we can help

Whether you need advice relating to contract disputes, commercial disputes, corporate or personal insolvency, debt recovery, or intellectual property disputes, our team of specialist litigation lawyers is here to provide pragmatic, cost-effective solutions.

We endeavour to resolve disputes favourable to our clients outside of the court system but should litigation be necessary, our team of dispute resolution lawyers excel in this environment and will fiercely advocate for you.

We can help you with:

Adelaide lawyers johnston withers lawyers

Our recent experience

Need a dispute lawyer? Our team has a proven track record for success in a wide range of litigation and dispute resolution matters.

Contract and commercial disputes

Recently, our commercial litigation lawyers:

  • Received a Federal Court judgement on the issue of liability in favour of our client, a large waste company, for breach of confidence and misleading and deceptive conduct.

  • Obtained a freezing order in the Supreme Court for a farming family against the assets of a professional water broker, and then negotiated the return of significant funds owing.

  • Obtained a judgement in the District Court on behalf of our client, a large stock feed manufacturer, for unpaid accounts.

  • Obtained a freezing order from the Supreme Court on behalf of a large industrial company against a former employee, and negotiated with the insurance company for the return of misappropriated funds.

  • Acted for an equipment financier in a successful injunctive application in the District Court for delivery of certain equipment items.

Contested estates

Recently, our dispute resolution lawyers have:

  • Obtained a summary judgement in the Supreme Court on behalf of a beneficiary in a contested estate, as well as in a misleading and deceptive conduct claim brought by a sibling who was excluded from the Will.

  • Successfully resolved, without the need for litigation, a beneficiary's interest in a contested estate, which included the ownership and control of a large family business with certain assets outside the estate and subject to a constructive trust claim.

  • Received a declaration of a domestic partner in the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal on behalf of our client, the surviving spouse, which entitled her to her deceased partner's superannuation entitlement;

  • Acted for a beneficiary in a contested estate, which involved issuing Supreme Court proceedings under the Hague Convention against beneficiaries located in an overseas jurisdiction.

You can find more information about contested wills and estates here.

Trust litigation

We’re experienced in resolving trust litigation matters.

  • Our team recently received an order for payment out of disputed funds held in the Supreme Court Suitors Fund on the establishment of a Quistclose trust in favour of our client (the lender).

  • Successfully negotiated a substantial settlement for a farmer against his parents prior to a Supreme Court trial in respect of a constructive trust claim over farmland and water entitlements.

Building and construction disputes

Recently, our building dispute lawyers acted for homeowners in a successful trial and appeal against a builder for work orders under the Building Work Contractors Act 1995 (SA).

Personal and corporate insolvency

We’ve successfully set aside a statutory demand in the Supreme Court for a corporate entity.

Property and leasing disputes

Our property dispute solicitors have:

  • Obtained Supreme Court orders for a lessee farmer against a lessor for the access, use and enjoyment of certain farming land following an application for urgent injunctive relief.

  • Secured the return of property by way of subrogation and the appointment of a receiver to a national company for a guarantor.

  • Regularly act for two national lenders in mortgage possession proceedings in the Supreme Court.

  • Issued proceedings in the Supreme Court on behalf of an individual, and then successfully negotiated the return of a deposit from a vendor held under a failed contract for the purchase of a hotel.

Professional negligence

Our professional negligence lawyers have:

  • Acted for an individual in the District Court, and successfully negotiated a settlement against a financial advisor and accountant following entry into a failed management investment scheme.

  • Acted for a daughter who was excluded from her father's will, and obtained a sizable payout from an insurer for the negligence of her prior solicitor who failed to issue a claim under the Inheritance (Family Provision) Act within the statutory time limit.

  • Obtained a default judgement in the District Court on behalf of an executor of an estate against a property developer for a breach of a loan agreement, and then obtained bankruptcy orders in the Federal Court.

Intellectual property disputes

We’re well-versed in all manner of intellectual property disputes, spanning copyright, trademark, and breach of confidence litigation.

Most recently, our team:

  • Acted for an individual, and negotiated a substantial settlement in a copyright infringement dispute against a multinational corporation.

  • Acted for a medium-sized business in a successful trademark opposition proceeding and appeal in the Federal Court.

Meet the litigation and dispute resolution team

Tim Graney - Johnston Withers Lawyers

Timothy Graney

Johnston Withers Lawyers Andrew Mitchard

Andrew Mitchard

Managing director
Johnston Withers Lawyers Caitlin Walkington 2

Caitlin Walkington

Practice leader: Litigation
Laura Helmore - Johnston Withers Lawyers

Laura French

Senior Lawyer

News & views from the litigation and dispute resolution team

Browse all

Who can contest a will in South Australia (and how to do it)

Thinking about contesting a will in Australia? South Australian legislation known as the Inheritance (Family Provision) Act 1972 enables someone who’s been either left out of a will or hasn’t received adequate maintenance to make a claim against the deceased’s estate.

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Protecting your business online: Lessons learnt from the recent High Court cases of Voller and Defteros

Lessons learnt from the recent High Court cases of Fairfax Media Publications Pty Ltd v Voller [2021] HCA 27 and Google LLC v Defteros [2022] HCA 2. Prepared by Caitlin Walkington and Richard Bradshaw.

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Defamed on the internet? The courts can help

Our firm has been involved in two actions before the South Australian Supreme Court in which the Court has been prepared to make findings and orders protecting defamed plaintiffs.

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We’re proud to have resolved thousands of disputes for South Australians.

When experience matters, we’re here to help you, too.

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