Warfare and business are often synonymous with each other. Consider the many phrases we use in business such as; strategy, tactics, great leaders and ruthlessness. These can all be applied to war.
Three of the most common types of business disputes encountered are:
All three can be disruptive and costly and are best resolved outside the courtroom, either by negotiation or other alternative dispute resolution methods. Sometimes, however, an altercation can only be resolved on a bloody battlefield (in the business world the equivalent would be a courtroom). Like all wars, preventing confrontation in the first place is the best course of action. This article provides a definition of how these disputes occur and ways organisations can avoid them.
A breach of contract occurs when a party fails to execute its obligations under a contract entirely, partially, incorrectly, or in any other manner which is unsuitable according to the heart of the contract. Examples of a breach include failing to meet certain deadlines, substituting in materials which are different to those specified, and non-payment for goods and services.
Contractual disputes can vary from a disagreement on the performance of a supplier contract, resulting in the loss of a few hundred pounds, to a party failing to pay on a multi-million-pound construction contract, causing an entire project to grind to a halt. The bigger the risk, the stronger your due diligence and drafting need to be, but here a few procedures everyone can put in place to avoid breaches of contract getting out of hand.
A professional negligence claim arises when the counsel of a qualified party is revealed to be incorrect, irrelevant, or unsubstantiated, and you suffer material loss as a result of their poor advice. When taking action against a professional advisor, such as a management consultant, accountant, or surveyor, you must first determine if their actions in supporting you have breached their duty of care.
Professional negligence can still apply even when a formal contractual arrangement is not in place if the individual or business still provided advice to you on a professional basis. If in any of these situations the professional’s assistance proves to fall short of reasonable industry standards, a claim for negligence can be made.
Although everyone in business has to rely on professionals such as accountants, lawyers, and engineers to get things done, there are steps you can take to avoid being a victim of professional negligence and thereby being forced to make a claim for damages.
Shareholder disputes take place when top-level stakeholders within a business clash over major decisions that may significantly affect the company. This occurs more frequently at small and medium-size companies, and often as a result of key strategies and future planning not being documented or agreed in writing beforehand. Typical shareholder disputes include shareholders being denied input into management decisions, denial or reduction of dividend payout, and the undocumented assignment of intellectual property rights when a shareholder leaves the company.
To avoid shareholder disputes, it is imperative to: