Resolving commercial disputes - checklist

Resolving commercial disputes - checklistCommercial disputes can become costly in terms of time and expense. This checklist will help you handle disputes with the aim of resolving them.

  • Review what was agreed, and how clear the agreement was.
  • Clarify how the other party has failed to live up to the agreement. Consider to what extent you may have contributed.
  • Assess the loss you have suffered as a result and consider any loss they may claim to have suffered.
  • Collate evidence (eg written contracts, correspondence and witness statements).
  • Try to negotiate an amicable resolution. Keep evidence of negotiations including copies of letters and notes on conversations.
  • Assess the other party’s ability to pay, for example by running a credit check (including records of outstanding county court judgments).
  • Take legal advice unless the dispute is straightforward, represents a relatively small amount and runs no risk of a significant counterclaim.
  • Assess whether you have a strong case - how clear the legal position and evidence are - and the risks of a counterclaim or losing in court.
  • Clarify the costs and timescales involved in taking the recommended form of legal action; decide whether it is worth pursuing.
  • Consider how far you are prepared to compromise either by accepting stage payments or partial payment for a quick resolution.
  • Either abandon the claim, or inform the other party in writing of your intention to take legal action. Follow the appropriate procedure.
  • Track progress and legal costs as the case proceeds.
  • Continue to be prepared to compromise; accept any reasonable offer to avoid further delays and disruption, and the risk of court action.
  • After a successful court case, be prepared to enforce judgment to obtain payment.

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