No matter how understanding and fair you are, in the world of business, there will always be disputes between yourself and your clients or customers. The majority of business disputes relate to conditions which are detailed in the contracts you have signed. Below is a guide to everything you need to know about dealing with a contract dispute.
Instruct a lawyer to act on your behalf
As soon as it becomes clear that a contract is in dispute, you should instruct a lawyer to act on your behalf. The lawyer should be a specialist in corporate and contract law. This type of lawyer will have plenty of experience in dealing with contract litigation between businesses and will be able to analyse the agreements you have made before offering a range of options to you.
The lawyer you have hired will want to see every bit of paperwork and correspondence which documents the dealings you have had with the other party. You should gather together every contract, memo, email and letter which relates to the dispute and give these items to the lawyer. For example, if the contract dispute relates to the final amount owed, providing copies of any invoices or receipts will help your lawyer to start building their case. If the contract dispute relates to your failure to complete work or to deliver goods, you should collect any evidence which can be used to create a paper trail which proves that you held up your side of the bargain and did not break the terms of the contract.
Communicate using the lawyer
Once you have instructed a lawyer to act on your behalf, you should stop all other channels of communication with the other party. Continuing to communicate using other channels could place your legal case in jeopardy, as you may say or write something which weakens your legal position. All correspondence should be drafted by the lawyer and should be sent by email or letter. Sending all correspondence by email or letter will create clear proof of the date and content of any communications.
Admit any fault
If you believe you may be at fault in any way concerning the contract, you should admit this sooner rather than later. Because everything is written down in a contract, it is tough to avoid fault if you are at fault. In the long run, admitting any fault will save you money and time, as you will not need to instruct a lawyer to act on your behalf to fight a lengthy court case. Admitting fault can also help to reduce the severity of any penalties or fines you may face.
If you would like to find out more, you should contact a lawyer today.