Disputes often arise in family companies.  The Supreme Court has introduced a 6 month pilot program with a view to facilitating the “just, efficient, timely and cost-effective resolution of the real issues in dispute”.

The pilot will trial initiatives aimed at exploring resolution of the dispute at a very early stage of the proceeding before significant costs have been incurred.

Applications are restricted to no more than three pages in length setting out a concise and succinct summary of the facts alleged.

An initial conference will be held before Associate Judge.  The parties with their solicitors are expected to attend the conference.  The Associate Judge will explore with the parties whether the application can be resolved before any further steps taken.

If the matter is not resolved, the Associate Judge will make directions for the future conduct the matter.  Those orders will likely include an order to access inspection of the books of the company, valuation and mediation.  Orders for points of claim, points of defence more detailed affidavits are unlikely to be made until after the mediation.