vgso.vic.gov.au

Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution (including personal injury)

We act for Victorian government departments and agencies and/or the Attorney-General across a broad range of civil claims including those that are of high public interest and/or deal with sensitive subject matters.

The types of claims in which we act include:

  • civil claims against Victoria Police (including assault, battery, false imprisonment, negligence and malicious prosecution)
  • judicial review
  • defamation
  • advice on Public Interest Immunity, assisting with responding to subpoenas, injunctions and interlocutory applications.

We regularly deal with applications under the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997 and the Serious Offenders Act 2018.

We understand the sensitivities involved in government related litigation and the implications that litigation may have in terms of exposure to reputational damage.

We have a strong knowledge and understanding of the Model Litigant Guidelines and are strategic in our approach to ensure that we are delivering value through greater efficiency in our litigation practices.

  • We act on behalf of the State of Victoria in defending tort claims made against Victoria Police.

    Civil claims against Victoria Police are generally brought within the framework of s 74 of the Victoria Police Act 2013, which provides that the State is liable for police torts - unless the conduct giving rise to the police tort was serious and wilful misconduct.

  • We have expertise and experience acting in negligence claims.

  • We have in depth experience defending personal injury claims.

    We have a dedicated team, formed following the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which specialises in guiding clients to sensitively and effectively manage personal injury claims made by those affected by institutional sexual and other abuse.

    Amongst other things, we use established protocols with plaintiff law firms, the Model Litigant Guidelines and Common Guiding Principles to manage these claims.

  • We regularly represent government departments and statutory authorities in judicial reviews. We act for both applicants and respondents, which provides us with significant insight into how these proceedings are both initiated and contradicted (defended).

  • We act for government departments and agencies, as well as individuals such as Ministers and staff, in defamation claims. We have experience both in assisting clients who have potentially been defamed and in assisting clients to defend defamation claims. This includes defamatory content posted, distributed or shared online via social media platforms or other mainstream media.

    We also provide strategic and practical advice to help mitigate the risks of a defamation claim.

  • Evidence that is otherwise relevant and admissible may be excluded from court proceedings and administrative investigations if it can be demonstrated that disclosure of the evidence would be contrary to the public interest.

    We act on behalf of Victoria Police and other government departments and agencies to advise as to whether claims for public interest immunity should be made.

  • We regularly manage the process of responding to subpoenas.

    We understand the requirements for complying with subpoenas. We also understand the importance of assessing whether there is a legitimate forensic purpose for requesting the documents identified in the subpoena, assessing responsive documents for legal professional privilege and considering whether there are any other grounds for withholding documents from production.

    We are experienced in negotiating with parties about releasing subpoenaed documents and appearing in applications to set aside and/or vary the scope of subpoenas.

  • An injunction is a court order, generally sought on an urgent basis, commanding or forbidding the person to whom it is directed to do or refrain from doing something. It is an equitable remedy, awarded at the discretion of the court.

    We provide advice to clients seeking an injunction to compel or restrain a person from taking a certain course of action, or to maintain the status quo in advance of a court proceeding.

    We also provide advice to clients served with injunction applications.

    We are experienced in instituting and responding to the various types of interlocutory applications that arise during the course of litigation including:

    • requests for further and better particulars
    • requests for further and better discovery
    • applications to add parties to a proceeding
    • applications to vacate a trial date.
  • The effective management and control of vexatious litigation is important to ensure an efficient and effective justice system.  

    Some individuals use the mechanisms of the law to repeatedly bring unmeritorious actions against other individuals and against organisations.

    We have considerable experience in assisting clients with applications for:

  • The law of contempt aims to uphold the effective administration of justice. At common law, any person can bring a proceeding seeking punishment of contempt. 

    In practice in Victoria, proceedings are brought by the:

    • Attorney-General
    • Director of Public Prosecutions
    • Prothonotary of the Supreme Court
    • Registrar of the County Court.

    We have considerable experience in assisting clients with instituting proceedings for contempt of court.

Reviewed 28 July 2021

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