Hugh Storry Deans
Partner & Litigation Solicitor
Top Tips for Handling Business Disputes
Disputes are sometimes an unavoidable consequence of running a business. Whether it’s a corporate dispute (internal disagreements) or a commercial (with another party) it is important that it is handled carefully. Here are our top tips for getting this right:
1. Do your homework
If your dispute is about money to you, find out why it hasn’t been paid. You can then decide how best to tackle the dispute.
2. Check the paperwork
Contracts, terms and conditions, internal company documents may help to provide an answer to any disputed issues.
Business disputes can be expensive. Seek advice on what the dispute is likely to cost, so you can be realistic from the outset before deciding on the right course of action.
Disputes can affect businesses in more ways than one. Think about the consequences of damaged business relationships and negative publicity will have on your business.
5. Litigation a last resort
Always try to settle disputes without involving the courts, through means of mediation and arbitration. They could resolve the matter sooner and usually at a lot less cost.
6. Which court is right for you?
If you’re unable to settle your case and need to issue proceedings, you will need to consider which court should hear your case. The type of court you require will depend on the value of your case, its complexity and the jurisdiction of the parties involved.
7. Get prepared
Your case will need to be backed up with evidence, including; email exchanges, invoices, agreements.
8. Court Process
Regardless of the strength of your position in any dispute, if you fall foul of procedure you are unlikely to end up with the outcome you set out to achieve. Make sure you understand how the system works and the deadlines that need to be met.
9. Be commercial
It is easy to become emotionally embroiled in a dispute which could cloud your judgement. Ensure you remain as objective as possible when considering any settlement offer.
10. Protect your business
Whatever the circumstances of your dispute it pays to minimise the chance of another happening in the future. Seek professional advice about how you can protect your business.
For further information please contact our Dispute Resolution team.