When you run a business, you expect things to run smoothly, but there are going to be times when you have disputes with clients, customers, or vendors. Many of these disputes are related to contracts, which can lead to a lawsuit if not handled correctly. Here are some tips for getting through a contract dispute.
Hire a Commercial Lawyer First Thing
Before you get any more involved in the dispute with your client or vendor, you need to hire a lawyer. Don't just use any lawyer, but one that specialises in commercial or corporate law. They have more experience dealing with commercial litigations and contract issues specifically. They will know exactly what to look for, how to analyse your contract, and provide tips for resolving the case in the simplest way possible.
Start Gathering Evidence
It is never too soon to start getting evidence to prove your side of the dispute. In addition to getting all copies of your contract, including proof of when the contract was sent to the other party, you should start gathering other documents that might pertain to this dispute. For example, if you are a construction company and a homeowner is disputing how much they were meant to pay for work completed, you might have invoices that were signed by the homeowner stating they understood the cost of work, which should also be reflected in the contract.
Communicate Through Lawyers
Once the dispute reaches the court system or leads to litigation, it is time to stop discussing matters with the customer or client, and instead deal only with your lawyers. When you do communicate with the other party or their attorney, only do so through written communications. Whether it is an email or letter sent in the mail, this is needed for evidence. Phone calls will not provide solid proof of what has taken place since the dispute began and are not ideal.
Admit If You Are at Fault
When there is a contract dispute that proves you were at fault, it is easier and cheaper to just admit your mistake, pay the fines or penalties, and move on from the situation. Even if you had a completely honest mistake as it relates to the case, you will save on court fees and be able to move on from the dispute more quickly if you admit it instead of trying to fight it through litigation.