Unfortunately, no matter how well you run your business, or life in general, disputes still arise. They may relate to building contracts, employment issues or defective goods. At PGM we always try to look to the most cost effective means to secure the solution which best suits your needs.
There are many different approaches to dispute resolution most of which can be tried simultaneously. These include:
- Negotiation – This is usually the best starting point. It is relatively inexpensive and can be used throughout the life of the dispute. A negotiated settlement, which is agreed upon by the parties is the most satisfying result as it is not imposed by third parties, such as a judge.
- Mediation – This is a form of negotiation in which finding a solution agreeable to the parties is assisted by a neutral third person, the mediator. Mediations typically take the form of a meeting which uses three rooms. The parties to the dispute have a room each, and the mediator has the third. The mediator goes from party to party exploring with them the relative strengths and weaknesses of their respective cases and what they see as a reasonable outcome to the dispute. In this way, the issues can be narrowed and an agreement is often reached. If an agreement is not reached in the course of the mediation, it is often reached shortly afterwards as after the mediation the parties have a clearer idea of their own positions and that of the other side.
- Litigation – This ought to be the last resort. Sadly, however, in many cases it is used too soon, before the other options are exhausted. Litigation has three main drawbacks; it is costly, it takes a long time and it is inherently unpredictable. Having said that, you may be pushed into it in two ways. First, the other side starts it and you are the defendant, the second is that the other side simply will not agree to anything else.
If you are pushed into litigation, it is important that you have the most appropriate advice and representation. The aim is always to get the best results for you, the client, in the most cost effective way. At PGM we have experienced solicitors who are also trained mediators. We can therefore provide the best advice at reasonable cost.