Business relationships are:
Despite the best efforts of parties involved, disputes do arise. Therefore, it is essential to have a legal team who is well equipped to deal with the myriad of business disputes you may face. Aitken Whyte Lawyers is experienced in civil litigation, commercial contracting and dispute resolution. Our firm is able to provide your business, partnership or company with guidance as to how best minimise disputes and resolve conflicts efficiently.
It is essential to ensure you are aware of the pitfalls in the early stages of transactions such as sale, purchase and contract negotiations or entering partnership or shareholders agreements. With an informed view on the legal aspects of new business relationships, you can make tactical decisions which can reduce the likelihood of disputes down the track.
Aitken Whyte Lawyers provides realistic and straightforward advice in business transactions. Our aim is to clearly disclose to our clients the steps involved in business transactions and negotiation. Business relationships are not built overnight and some negotiations can take long periods of time. Therefore, it is important to keep the end goal in mind and appreciate the complexity of building long term business relationships.
If disputes arise prior to entering into a contract there is potential for the parties simply to walk away and obtain other businesses to provide the goods or services they require. If, however, a contract has been entered into, disputes become more complex and expensive.
Disputes between contracting parties are not uncommonly resolved in mediation, arbitration or Court proceedings. It is important that businesses and companies have legal representation which can guide them through these processes and advise on potential outcomes.
Commercial disputes very commonly surround contracts and interpretation of contractual terms. It is important from the outset to ensure business contracts are drafted clearly and concisely so as to avoid uncertainty and ambiguity.
Further, businesses should avoid basing new contracts on precedents as irrelevant special conditions can be accidentally included causing ambiguity for the parties involved. Businesses should aim to have legal representatives who are able to draft and advise on a wide range of commercial contracts keeping in mind your specific needs.
One way in which businesses can reduce the potential for long-winded disputes is the inclusion of dispute resolution clauses. A dispute resolution clause will provide the steps by which parties to the contract must deal with the dispute. Dispute resolution clauses can include a requirement that the parties act in good faith to attempt to resolve the matter without litigation.
If, however, litigation is required, the resolution process can be in some ways relied on at a trial as evidence of one party’s attempts to resolve the matter early on. Therefore, it is in the interests of businesses to seriously consider simple and clear dispute resolution clauses in each contract and external dispute resolution procedures such as mediation or arbitration.
Parties may also agree to the inclusion of an expert determination clause to avoid doubt and conflict when parties dispute aspects of the transaction. For example, contracts requiring calculations may include a provision for the engagement of an independent accountant where the dispute arises as to the calculations. Alternatively, the clause can include the engagement of the Australian Disputes Centre to act as an independent body to facilitate negotiation between the parties.
When disputes arise it is important that businesses and companies are aware of their options for resolution. The efficient resolution of disputes can not only save money but it can also save valuable business relationships.
Contracts which include a dispute resolution clause will commonly require the parties to attend a conference in order to determine what issues are actually in dispute. Conferences can be a private, informal meeting between the parties with a view to setting out what the dispute actually surrounds and how best to move forward, with or without lawyers.
Mediation is a non-adversarial and cost-effective way to resolve commercial disputes. Mediation can be facilitated by Court systems or through private providers. Mediation is often conducted as a ‘round-table’ discussion where the parties can speak frankly about their ideal outcomes and potentially negotiate pre-existing terms of an agreement. Meditations can be attended by the parties with legal representation, which is usually advisable. Being able to have a legal representative clearly articulate your business’s needs and wants can be the most efficient way to resolve a dispute.
Arbitration is a formal, private determination of the issues in dispute between the parties. An arbitrator will be appointed to make a final determination and attempt to resolve any residuary issues. The objective of arbitration is to facilitate the fair and cost-effective final resolution of a dispute. Although completing arbitration cannot prevent a disgruntled party from commencing proceedings (it can if a pre-existing contract says it does though), if conducted correctly arbitration can successfully resolve even complex disputes.
Ultimately, only the terms of any dispute resolution clause and the parties themselves can determine which option for resolving the matter is best in the circumstances. Regardless of the choice to commence legal proceedings or undertake dispute resolution processes, it is important businesses have appropriate legal representation to guide them.
Negotiation and resolving complex disputes can be emotionally and mentally draining. Therefore it is important that businesses have legal representation to work through these issues and ensure your best interests are being upheld and protected. Aitken Whyte Lawyers can provide assistance in a wide range of commercial matters and provide your business with the representation it requires.
Proper experience in dealing with commercial and business disputes is essential. Aitken Whyte Lawyers are focused on results. Our commercial law team will advise you on the proper course to take to resolve your dispute via alternate dispute resolution methods and keep your business relationships intact.
Aitken Whyte Lawyers can assist you with all business dispute and commercial law matters.
Aitken Whyte Lawyers
11/8 Pikki Street,
Maroochydore Qld 4558
Ph: +617 5408 0655
Fax: +617 3211 9311