According the CEDR Mediation audit – 10,000 commercial mediations were performed in 2016, an increase of 5%. There is trend to solve disputes as smoothly as possible. Business disputes raise concerns about the cost of litigation, loss of reputation and loss of time and energy.
Here are some tips to help you solve business disputes.
Choose your legal proceedings
The procedure and results depends on which approach you choose. Before you go with one or the other, look to your dispute resolution clause. Often this clause requires resolving conflict by mediation or binding arbitration. Mediation and arbitration are two different collaborative practices. These alternatives are faster and cheaper than going to court.
In the event you choose mediation, an independent third party helps you to come to a mutually acceptable settlement. The mediator has no authority to make a binding decision, their only duty is to help parties come to a resolution they can agree on.
Mediation is the most popular procedure. Why? It gives you the most control with a better chance to come to an amicable solution. In contrast, once you choose arbitration or litigation, it is up to the judge or the arbitrator to decide and they are empowered to impose a decision.
If you pursue arbitration, an independent third party will consider the facts and make a binding decision. If mediation does not enable you to resolve the dispute and you do not wish to choose arbitration, your last option is:
My advice would be to only take a dispute to court as a last resort. Why? It may result in a leak of important information for public viewing, it is expensive and it is often a very long road.
When Business Disputes Require to Hire a Lawyer
Once you choose your legal proceeding you should hire a lawyer. The role of a lawyer will depend on the option you’ve chosen to pursue.
While not necessary, hiring a lawyer for mediation may help. Mediations are not legally binding, which mean no party has to fulfill what was stated at the end. Having a lawyer present and aware of the what is happening may help you in the future. You don’t need a direct lawyer participation in the mediation, nonetheless, a mediation lawyer might be useful before beginning the process to understand all your options.
Again, having a lawyer is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended. Arbitrations are legally binding, therefore, having someone who is a specialist will help you understand the process and guide in the way you want to go.
Hiring a lawyer for litigation should be your first reaction. They will know how to handle your situation and where to take you or your business.
To save on court costs, mediation is always the recommended option first! If you feel that mediation is too light for your situation, then choose accordingly. No matter which legal proceeding you choose you should hire a lawyer, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure!
If you’re unsure about your issue or business dispute then please get in touch with us. We know it can feel very confusing and overwhelming. Often just clearing things up with a legal expert first can make you feel better and help you decide what your next step should be in the dispute process.