05.02 First steps in litigation

05 International Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolutions

Every litigation starts with the collection of facts, by the person or the company itself who wants to enforce its rights, on the one hand to document the case, but above all to provide evidence.

People or companies involved in litigation must be careful about what they say about the case to third parties, especially the media. Not only in criminal proceedings, everything you say can be used against you later! Moreover, in legal matters, everything one says is weighed in the balance. Statements must therefore be well-considered. Going into litigation is like war: one wrong move, and you’re dead!

If legal disputes arise, it is important to discuss the matter with an internal or external lawyer as soon as possible, before contacting the other party and to determine the course of action. Internal lawyers are subject to business confidentiality and external lawyers are subject to legal privilege. That is why one can, indeed must, be open with one’s own lawyer. It is essential that one’s own lawyer also knows what speaks against one, in order to be equipped against corresponding arguments of the opposing party.

If the case may involve claims for damages against oneself or if the case itself is insured (legal protection insurance; cp. Chapter 09.12 Legal protection insurance), the relevant insurance company must also be informed asap.

In any case and also at any stage of the dispute, one should try first to settle the matter by negotiation, an agreement with the counterparty. Going to court is the worst case scenario, costing money, time and nerves. Even if you win, the compensation awarded by a court does not fully cover the costs actually incurred.

05 International Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolutions