Posted: Monday, 1 March 2010 @ 14:42
(article first appeared in Cousins Business Law ezine September 2008)
As the economy slows down, we can expect more business disputes than ever.
Business disputes are bad for business due to the costs involved and the time that management must take in dealing with them.
So what can you do to try to minimise the effect of disputes?
- Plan ahead in negotiations. Whenever negotiating a new project or contract, try to think of what could go wrong and make sure you address this, both in the contract and in your working systems - to try to prevent this from happening.
- Put it in writing before problems occur. For large projects, make sure you have a written contract. For all projects and contracts, make sure that you have a written version of exactly what was agreed and try, as far as possible, to state who would be responsible for the problems you foresaw in 1 above. As was explained in our Feature article you can’t rely on a gentleman’s agreement.
- Whatever you do in business, you should try to ensure that the people you are contracting with do so in accordance with your terms of business. Make sure you have in place a good set of terms and conditions and ensure that you agree that they apply to all your dealings.
- Put it in writing as soon as problems do occur. If someone has got something wrong or you are not happy with the way they are performing, send them a letter or email stating this. This will solve many issues as to what exactly happened should the dispute later escalate.
- Read our article on the Steps to Handling Business Disputes and follow the advice given.
- Take legal advice as soon as possible when a dispute arises as, usually, the sooner action is taken, the better will be the overall result.
For advice on any business or commercial dispute you are experiencing contact Gary Cousins – who offers a free initial half hour telephone assessment.
Blog by Gary Cousins
Gary has been providing legal advice to shareholders, directors and business owners for over 25 years. Specialising in dispute resolution Gary is based in Birmingham with clients throughout the UK and overseas. View profile
This blog is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor is it intended to be a complete and authoritative statement of the law, and what we say might be out of date by the time you read it. You should always seek legal advice to confirm whether or how any information in this article applies to your particular situation. We offer a free telephone consultation
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