There can be all manner of commercial disputes. These can vary between breach of contract disputes to partnership disputes to the falling out between various directors and shareholders of a company. Difficulties can arise when implied duties are breached. Just as there is no “manual” for being a parent, there is no “manual” for being a director of a company and often people do not realise the obligations this imposes on them.
Further difficulties can arise in family businesses where, quite often, because they are family, formal documents are not drawn up setting out the terms agreed between family members.
TSP can help and advise in all areas of commercial dispute and will seek to do so as smoothly and cost effectively as possible. This may include the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution which offers alternatives to litigation including Mediation, Arbitration, Expert Determination or simply a round table “without prejudice” meeting.
Litigation (“going to Court”) is not always a quick fix where there is a dispute. If a claim is defended it can take as long as a year to reach trial. Most cases settle before trial because litigation is expensive and there is always a risk that you won’t get the desired outcome.
Under the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) parties are encouraged to try to settle claims before issuing proceedings. A settlement gives a business certainty and closure, and avoids the anxiety of having to wait for a judgment from a court and the uncertainty associated with the outcome. It also avoids the expense of continuing with litigation. Even if the business wins in court and is awarded costs, it will rarely get all of its costs back from the other party. There is no point pursuing the dispute to trial if the other party cannot pay the sums awarded or the claimant’s legal costs. Consideration should also be given to the strain on the business’s management team and its employees in investigating and defending or pursuing the proceedings. Sometimes an amicable settlement can help preserve the relationship between the two parties.
It is important that businesses regularly review their terms and conditions to reduce risk of disputes and to provide for what happens if there is a dispute.
If you need advice on a commercial dispute please contact our tenacious Dispute Resolution team here.