A dispute is challenging enough at any time but if you’re finding that you have an issue that has arisen relating to a business contract, there are several ways to best deal with the situation that will be more likely to end in a positive result.

Whatever the decision you take, it’s vital that you stay realistic throughout and try to consider alternative dispute resolution (ADR) such as mediation to avoid court proceedings if possible.

  • Know your position
    This is a good time to work out exactly what the issues are and collate all the necessary documentation and correspondence, checking that you have any necessary emails, and so on. You should ideally have your contract professionally reviewed to make sure you are in the right.  There is nothing worse than fighting a losing battle.
  • Research the other party
    Whilst ideally you will have carried out your due diligence before entering into the contract, hindsight is a wonderful thing. You should find out what you can about the other party.  What is its current financial position? Is this likely to have an impact on its ability to pay any sums you may be owed?
  • It’s good to talk
    If possible try to meet up with the other party.  This is a good time to talk informally and possibly head off a long and costly legal case.  You may be able to salvage a shaky relationship by keeping communication open and it is possible you may reach a result that keeps both parties happy.
  • Think about the result
    What do you actually want to achieve from this challenge?  Are you looking to have an invoice paid at all costs, or are you keen to try and preserve a business relationship in which case a mutually beneficial result would be better e.g. agreeing payment terms over a period of time.
  • How much is it likely to cost?
    If you’re looking at a long fight ahead this could cost you dearly – both financially and in terms of time and effort.  It is a good idea to be prepared so that you can put together a suitable strategy that will make sure you are in control and able to keep costs down. It is better to take the time to make an informed decision than to jump in with both feet and regret it later.

I am experienced in handling business disputes and have helped numerous clients over the years to avoid costly court cases. If you would like to have a chat please give me a call on 07919164500 or send me an email at louise@ervinhall.co.uk.