Resolving disputes and claims
Disputes are unfortunately fact of life in either business or personal lives. Such disputes are time consuming, expensive and a diversion from your business or your life in general. When a dispute arises the aim should be to resolve it on the best possible terms as quickly as possible. The ‘best’ terms will usually be a compromise between the parties.
Disputes and claims come in a variety of guises ranging from small easy to negotiate problems to substantial claims involving millions of pounds. Whatever the dispute they all absorb time and money.
We are experienced in the area of dispute resolution and we can assist you in a number of ways:
- Negotiation – before you come to us you will no doubt have tried this yourself, but there can be times when our involvement, or our ability to talk to lawyers on the other side, can produce a settlement.
- Litigation – this is the traditional dispute resolution technique available and is often inevitable if the other party cannot be brought to the negotiating table or refuses to see sense. Very often court proceedings need to be issued because the other side will not take active steps to resolve matters. It is a fairly blunt and expensive option and if taken all the way to trial the ultimate result is in the hands of a judge. Most cases settle well before trial and there is increasing pressure from the courts to make this happen.
- ADR – Alternative Dispute Resolution – which describes dispute resolution techniques alternative to litigation, including:
- Mediation – this is a powerful technique where a neutral third party via ‘shuttle diplomacy’ brings the parties to their resolution of their dispute and a binding settlement agreement. Mediation is quick to organise, can be cost effective, and can maintain business relationships which could otherwise be seriously damaged due to the dispute.
- Arbitration – this is a long established process which is in effect private litigation which does not take place through the courts. Usually such a process is used to resolve disputes arising from a commercial contract which incorporates an Arbitration clause which comes into play in the event of a disagreement between the parties.
- Neutral evaluation – a relative newcomer to the scene of dispute resolution, where a neutral third party is asked to give a non-binding opinion as to the legal merits of the dispute.
- Expert determination – where an expert is asked to give a binding opinion on an issue within a dispute, or the dispute itself. This route is particularly useful in such disputes where an expert can judge quickly on a specific issue (e.g. whether a product matches a sample) which will then resolve the issues between the parties.