Commercial business disputes can arise for various reasons, such as contract breaches, vendor disputes or disagreements between partners or shareholders. Such disputes can be costly, stressful and time-consuming, but with the right approach, they can often be resolved cost-effectively and timely. However, while litigation is an option, it may not always be the best solution for business disputes.
The first step in resolving a commercial business dispute is to attempt to resolve the dispute informally. This could involve discussions between both parties. If the thought of this gives you chills or has not been successful to date, you may wish to engage a mediator or a professional dispute resolution service to help. This step aims to identify the root cause of the dispute, find solutions to the issues and ensure that all parties understand their obligations. This informal approach is often the fastest, most cost-effective way to resolve disputes. Having said that, it is not suitable for all situations.
If informal resolution fails, then the next step should be arbitration or negotiation. Arbitration is a process where both parties submit their positions to a neutral third party, which helps facilitate a resolution. Negotiation is also a process, but it involves a more direct conversation between the two parties and may allow for more flexibility in finding solutions.
If both parties cannot resolve their differences, the next step should be litigation, which is when a dispute is taken to court.
Litigation generally involves both parties presenting their case to the court, and then the court makes its decision, sometimes on the spot or some weeks/months after the conclusion of the hearing. While litigation is often the most expensive and time-consuming option, it may be necessary for some instances.
Finally, it is important to consider alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods, such as mediation and negotiation, which can be used to resolve business disputes without the need for litigation. ADR has several advantages, such as shorter timelines and lower costs. Still, this form of dispute resolution requires both parties to participate voluntarily and agree to be bound by the decision.
In conclusion, commercial business disputes can be resolved using several methods, and the key to finding the best solution is first to identify all available options.
Many businesses initially opt for some form of informal resolution before discussing arbitration or negotiation and, if necessary, litigation or alternative dispute resolution. If you feel that a commercial business dispute may be arising, or has arisen, give our business lawyers a call. We have helped many parties who have been in this situation.