We’re in dispute – How do we fix this?
It is unfortunate, but a fact of life - disputes do arise, even when we’ve had the best intentions. It happens in all walks of life – not only between individuals but also in the corporate world.
We are often asked to steer clients through their disputes. However, they do not always want to take the most aggressive option –usually litigation –instead they want to preserve their relationship with the party and work through the dispute together.
Depending on the nature and circumstances of the particular conflict our clients are facing, we often recommend and adopt alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods, including:
- Negotiation – where the parties engage with each other and work towards resolving their interests
- Mediation – involving a mediator who facilitates and encourages discussion between the parties, allowing the parties to achieve their own mutually beneficial outcomes
- Arbitration - involving an impartial arbitrator selected by the parties to determine any conflicting issues.
A few key benefits of these less aggressive methods include the following:
- Saves money – The court fees, professional fees, barrister fees and many other disbursements associated with litigation are not incurred, at least to the same extent
- Saves time – Litigation can often be a drawn out process with some matters taking years to be resolved. Successful outcomes through ADR methods can be achieved more quickly as the timing is determined by the parties
- Greater control and flexibility – The parties have control over the process and, more importantly, they have control over the outcome of the dispute – which does not occur in litigation
- Confidentiality – Privacy can be maintained when utilising ADR methods unlike in litigation where the details and outcome of the dispute are available to the public.
If you are faced with a dispute with a party – whether they be a business partner, supplier, franchisee, landlord or family member, and you’re concerned with maintaining your relationship with that party, then ADR methods may be right for you.
Accordingly, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible so we can analyse your dispute and take timely action to preserve your relationship before it suffers irreparable damage.
If you need advice on a dispute, please contact:
Caroline Hutchinson, Principal
Phone: +61 2 9895 9200