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Business disputes

Business disputes are unfortunately commonplace, whatever the size of your organisation. At Spencer Churchill, we aim to resolve business disputes before they go through costly court processes.

Business disputes can be timely and costly, which is why we adopt a proactive approach to resolve disputes quickly and efficiently, while mitigating the reputational damage that often comes with a business dispute.

Read on to find out more about how we can help you resolve disputes for your business, or contact us today to get bespoke and tailored advice.

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Corporate Law

What is a business dispute?

In short, a business dispute is a disagreement between two businesses over contractual obligations.

Most business disputes concur over disagreements regarding a service or product that either hasn’t met contractual stipulation or have proven to be defective in some way.

Business disputes can also involve disagreements between business patterns and shareholders, so are more internally fractious.

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How do you resolve a business dispute?

There are a number of different ways to resolve disputes in the construction industry.

Alternative dispute resolution

Often seen as the ideal solution to disputes, alternative dispute resolution methods aim to resolve disputes before they go to court.

This can save time and money, while also being confidential to avoid potential reputational damage to the parties involved.

Mediation

Mediation is best deployed in the infancy of a dispute. It involves both parties involved to elicit the support of a third, impartial party to help outline settlement options.

Mediation can be very time effective and resolve disputes before they need to go to court. However, the agreement of the settlement still ultimately lies with the two disputing parties, so there is no guarantee that mediation will resolve the dispute.

To find out more about mediation and whether it’s the right approach for you, you can contact us here for more information

Adjudication

Adjudication involves an expert within a specific sector’s field considering the cases put forward by both parties before proposing a resolution.

A major benefit of adjudication is that it can help resolve disputes swiftly as a decision must be made within 28 days of an appeal.

An adjudicators decisions/proposal is binding unless contested by one, or both, of the parties involved. If contested, the dispute will likely go to arbitration or, in worst cases, litigation and court proceedings.

Arbitration

Through arbitration, disputes are formally resolved by a private tribunal.

Some contracts have an arbitration clause which means that any dispute needs to be referred to arbitration as opposed to courts.

The arbitrator will then review the cases and evidence put forward by both parties, which includes witness statements, reports, hearings and disclosure of documents, before reaching a final decision.

Some of the advantages of arbitration is that it’s faster than litigation, often cheaper, more flexible and easier to enforce than many court judgements.

Litigation

Litigation is often seen as the last resort for most dispute resolution cases. This is because it can be costly to both parties and even take years to resolve.

Litigation in dispute resolution involves full court proceedings and with that comes the legal fees attached.

Whatever your dispute may be, we’re able to explore all options and find the most suitable resolution for your needs.

Examples of business disputes

A business dispute can take on many forms, but often involve the following issues:

Common Disputes

Contractual disagreements

Shareholder disputes

Professional negligence

Landlord and tenancy disputes

Payment disputes

Agency agreements

Partnership disagreements

Debt recovery

Property litigation

How to avoid common business disputes

There are some things you can put in place to help avoid business disputes before they have a chance to arise. This includes:

Design ironclad contracts

Contracts provide the foundations of all business relationships and are imperative to mitigating potential future conflicts.

That’s why, when you draft a contract, it’s prudent to do the following:

  • Ensure the contract is in writing. This makes the relationship clearer and harder for a party to dispute their contractual obligations
  • Insert a dispute resolution clause so if a dispute arises, you have an agreed process of resolution
  • Ensure all parties are aware of what’s going to be included in the contract so your relationship embarks on a transparent basis

Professional negligence mitigation

Professional negligence is the source of many business disputes and occurs when a professional has not performed their duty with due care, diligence or to an acceptable standard.

  • As a business, you want to ensure you employ the service of a professional you have confidence in. Before employing the services of a professional, it’s good practice to do the following to avoid any future disputes:
  • Ensure the professional you engage has the skill set and resource to do their job effectively and deliver what you need
    Be clear about your requirements and timeframes from the very start of the relationship. Poor planning or ambiguous briefs can lead to negligence and misunderstanding further down the line
  • If possible, choose a professional that has been referred by a trusted source

Foresee shareholder disputes

Shareholder disputes can hold a business back from growing and developing. Often, shareholder disputes arise around strategic direction, decision making and dividend payouts.

To avoid future shareholder disputes, you can:

  • Formulate a shareholders’ agreement at the start, which outlines key areas such as voting rights, dividends and dispute resolution processes
  • Stipulate the shareholders’ agreement in a written and binding contract
  • Ensure all shareholders sign a Deed of Adherence

Why choose Spencer Churchill for your business disputes?

We’re an experienced and dynamic law firm offering experienced advice on a wide range of business disputes.

We’re specialists in alternative dispute resolutions for businesses and have experience in advising businesses on the mediation, arbitration and adjudication processes. We’re well positioned to offer proactive and progressive advice that helps keep your business running and reputation intact.

Transparent, open and tailored advice is at the heart of what we do. We’ll help you navigate your dispute and restore the integrity of your business.

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Dispute Resolution

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    Business disputes FAQ

    What are the 3 ways to resolve a business dispute without going to court?

    Ideally, all business disputes are resolved before going to court. The 3 primary dispute resolution processes to avoid litigation are mediation, arbitration and adjudication.

    What are the most common types of business disputes?

    Typically, the most common disputes in a business concern the following: shareholder disputes, professional negligence and contractual disputes.

    What is a business dispute resolution lawyer?

    A business dispute resolution lawyer specialises in resolving legal disputes between two (and sometimes more) parties.

    The role of the dispute resolution lawyer is to evaluate the case presented by a client and advise them on the appropriate next steps.

    It’s vital for a dispute resolution lawyer to exhaust all options available in order to find the most time and cost-effective approach for the client or business.