Contract disputes can occur for a number of different reasons. You may feel that a provider is not giving you the service they need, or your employer demands you do work that is not part of your job description. Whatever the situation, there are a few ways to settle a contract dispute and make for as positive an outcome as possible for all parties concerned.
Write a formal contract
You have probably heard the joke about how oral contracts “aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on.” While it may sound silly, a lot of people make the mistake of feeling that a handshake or verbal agreement is enough. A lot of the time it’s not- in order to get the best deal, it is best to work with a legal professional to get binding terms and conditions in writing (and yes, this does cover friends and family as well).
In some cases, it may be that the dispute relates to money that has not been paid. With this in mind, the best thing to do is to try and contact them directly in order to establish what is going on. It may be that they require more time to pay you, in which case you can establish an agreement.
If you are the one who is having difficulties, then it is vital that you make the first move and explain your situation, as this will make it easier to create a repayment plan. It is important that you stick to it as this will prevent further problems later on.
Small claims court is ideal for any situation where the sums of money involved are less than £10,000. Mediation is recommended as they can be appointed to look at both sides and help to find an agreement. Furthermore, asking for legal advice and starting proceedings can often be an incentive for the other side to consider whether a settlement is a better option than a potentially costly legal battle.
If a mediator can make an agreement between the two parties, this becomes legally binding. Should another party breach this agreement then this case could straight to a judge and it is very likely you will get a positive verdict without ever having to state your case to the court.
If you can’t make an agreement through mediation, then you may need to take the case to court. Essentially in this instance your representative will have to prove you had a legally binding contract, the contract was breached (for example not delivering goods as requested) and how much damage was caused as a result of that breach (customers cancelled orders with your company because you couldn’t provide the goods, thus impacting on the image of your business and personal income.)
A court can then decide whether the offending party should pay compensation, fulfil the contract or may place an injunction on them.
It is important to consider the right actions before going to court over a contract dispute. At Larcomes, we have legal specialists who can look over your case and offer advice based on your individual circumstances. For more information or to go over a case in more detail, please contact us today.