Civil Litigation

Our Practice

The cases we handle involve:
• Contractual claims
• Banking (we never undertake the banks side)
• Fraud and asset tracing
• Building & Construction
• Trust disputes
• Corporate Disputes
• Torts
• Accidents
• Estates & Administration
• Matrimonial and family matters
• Medical negligence claims and malpractice
• Commercial Disputes

Cyprus Legal System

Litigation is the main form of dispute resolution in Cyprus. The Cyprus Legal System is based on English Common Law (with some exceptions, such as family law matters).  In a common-law system, principles of law derive not only from statutes (laws) passed from the Parliament but also from previous cases developed through time and Courts need to follow and apply those principles on the specific facts in front of them. In fact the Courts may extend some of the principles and this adds to the flexible nature of the Court system. Due to the Courts being bound to follow previous decisions on similar facts and apply the same legal principles, there is reasonable guidance on how most issues will be resolved, adding to the ability to predict the outcome of a case.

Court Procedure

The Civil Litigation in Cyprus starts with the filing of the Writ of Summons, which states the relief sought. Together with the Writ of Summons or within 10 days after its filing, the Particulars of Claim must be filed, which state the nature and details of the claim.

The process may start by filing an Originating Summons instead of a Writ of Summons, where for example certain applications are made under the Companies Act Cap.113 or for declaratory orders. It is crucial for the process that the Defendant is properly served with the Court Documents. Service of Process is regulated by the Court Procedure Rules.

After Service of the Process the Defendant/s must file an appearance and a defence, or risk the Claimant/s, obtaining a summary judgment in their absence. After the Defence is filed, the Court sets the case for Directions as to how it is to proceed, and this is usually the stage where parties must make disclosure of the documents they will rely in the hearing of the case. After the Directions stage, the case is set for hearing, which is the stage where the parties call their witnesses to be examined and cross-examined by the other party. After the hearing is finished the Court will give its decision, which may be subject to an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Appeal

The Supreme Court has jurisdiction to hear and determine all appeals from lower courts in civil and criminal matters. Appeals are heard by a panel of three judges. The hearing of the appeal is based on the record of the proceedings kept in the lower court. The Supreme Court only hears evidence in exceptional and very rare circumstances. In the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction the Supreme Court may uphold, vary or set aside the decision appealed from, or it may order a re-trial.