Contractual and commercial disputes can be costly, time consuming and stressful. Minor disputes can escalate, and damage your relationships and image with customers and suppliers. Written contracts with customers and suppliers minimise the risk of disputes, they also outline how existing and future disputes should be settled.
Commercial disputes can arise from many things, including a payment default on delivery of goods or service. Or it may be that a contract or a written agreement exists and it has not been honoured or a breach has arisen, in which case we may be able to recover money owed to you and enforce provisions.
If a dispute does arise firms should try Mediation as a first priority and Litigation should be a last resort (resolving disputes in the court system).
Litigation is a long and expensive process, which is why it should be used as a last option, however, if matters do reach trial Jeffrey Mills Solicitors litigation team have over 40 years’ experience to help and advise you.
Process of Litigation
Parties first discuss their issues and once it has become clear that no understanding can be reached, both sides will seek a solicitor. After this stage one party may send a demand letter (letter to describe what must be done in order for the matter not to be taken to court). The other party would then have a chance to reply by either agreeing to the offer or choosing to do nothing at all.
If the dispute cannot be settled then one party will file a formal claim. If either party has not hired a solicitor this is the time to do so as filing and responding to a lawsuit is very complex. Shortly after the lawsuit has been filed each party will conduct ‘discovery’ (mandatory exchange of documents and information).
The next step is for parties to review everything that has been found during the discovery process, at which point the defendant will likely file a motion: The defendant argues that even if the claimant’s (a person who brings a case against another in a court of law) facts are true, the law does not recognise the situation as one that the defendant will be held responsible. If the judge agrees, the claimant loses, but if the judge denies the motion the case proceeds.
Finally the case will be heard by the Judge. Witnesses will be called to testify and evidence will be submitted. Solicitors from both sides will also present arguments on why their side deserves to win. When it is all over the losing party still have the right to appeal, which will most likely happen if large sums of money are involved.
A commercial dispute can be a very long and stressful process. For help and advice regarding a commercial dispute call Jeffrey Mills Solicitors.