Nick Northcott, Executive Director of Immediation
Picture this: you enter into business with a client, on a project that should last for the next five years. Something goes wrong. A dispute develops that needs to be resolved, but ordinary negotiations are bogged down by the blame game. The project falters. The dispute goes to court and the resolution process drags on over months, and then years. As such, the relationship with your client sours irreparably.
It’s a scenario that is sadly not uncommon in business relationships. So much so that in order to counteract the potentially harmful outcome to the business, many companies are now building dispute resolution clauses into their contracts from the outset.
It might seem unnecessary initially, but there is a good reason – alternative dispute resolution provides distinct advantages over a court-imposed decision.
Own your solution
A preemptive clause for a future scenario may seem dramatic, but be invaluable in terms of not only dollars saved but time, effort and relationship preservation. Instead of placing the future of your business in the hands of an overburdened and archaic court system, you own the solution.
Through alternative dispute resolution, you can agree to an outcome that actually meets the needs and wants of both parties.
Register for Immediation’s dispute resolution platform for free.
Winning at what cost?
Most people understand that the price of winning in court is the cost of getting there. It’s the price you’ve paid for external lawyers. It’s the cost of stopping the project and compromising your cash flow. Not only do you lose the relationship with your client, but also the prospect of any future work together.
More often than not, the costs of a resolution through the court system far outweigh the initial dispute, without even taking into account the time and energy that go into resolving an issue through the court system. From data gathering to the briefing of solicitors and barristers, the setting of court dates and then the ongoing resolution – simple matters can drag on for months before it even reaches the steps of the courthouse.
Resolve the issue and move on
Not all disputes need to be adversarial. Disputes occur and need to be resolved in every industry– it’s an inevitable part of doing business. Turning to alternative dispute resolution methods – like mediation – can allow you to find a way to cut a commercial deal that you can live within an amicable way and preserve the business relationship between parties.
Choosing an alternative route to resolution allows you to focus on your strengths and your business, rather than damaging your reputation, bottom line and relationships with unnecessary legal process. Put simply, you can do the deal and get on with business.
View Nick’s profile at Immediation.