It is likely that if you are a business owner, you will inevitably run into a dispute. Disputes are common in business, by virtue of the fact businesses are often exposed to potential sources of conflict. It is common for misunderstandings to occur between business partners, employees, suppliers, clients, competitors, and landlords. It is even possible a dispute can arise related to the ownership of intellectual property. At S&A legal, we advise on business disputes all the time.
In our experience the one common factor underlying every commercial dispute is that it was not expected nor was it budgeted for. Disputes are a shock to any business and can quickly escalate into a financial drain, loss of productivity, time and perhaps, most importantly, cause emotional stress.
Often negotiating directly with the other party is the most cost effective first step to resolving a dispute in the early stages. Your business might have developed an internal process for resolving complaints, such as a customer complaints hotline.
S&A’s team of lawyers are here to help you resolve your dispute early so that you can continue to focus on your business. We are experienced in working with Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) processes and mechanisms, and we have run many successful mediations without heading to the Court room.
What if you have tried negotiating and the dispute seems intractable? Does this mean you need to dust off your suit and prepare for a day in Court?
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LITIGATION
- Litigation starts when one party (usually known as the “plaintiff” or “applicant”) files an “initiating process” or “statement of claim” with the Court. This document outlines the case of the party bringing the action (dispute) to Court. The other party (the “defendant” or “respondent”) will then be required to file a defence. In the defendant/respondent may even wish to file a cross-claim outlining an action which may wish to bring against the plaintiff/applicant.
- Engaging a lawyer to assist you is really important. Often commercial disputes are settled not by “winning” the case, but by reaching a commercially sensible solution. Your lawyer is trained to offer pragmatic and sensible solutions that reflect commercial reality.
- Litigation is expensive, time-consuming and emotionally draining. Once the process has been initiated it is difficult (sometimes impossible) to get off “the gravy train”. It is vital that you work with an experienced team of lawyers who can help you navigate your way through the process.
The disputes team at S&A Legal can help you to resolve your dispute in its infancy, so you can get back to work and focus on doing what you do best!
If you’re thinking of going into business let us show you how S&A Legal can add value.