The importance of your Terms and Conditions
Many disputes that we see at Else Solicitors could have been avoided if more attention was given to the original contract itself. Often the contract is little more than bullet point email shared between two parties, or a poorly worded document cobbled together from various internet sources. On several occasions we have seen disputes arise based on ‘handshake contracts’ and verbal contracts. These can still be covered by law, but can be harder and more costly to argue.
The most effective contracts are always based on watertight Terms and Conditions. They provide the legal framework for all business transactions and engagements, and as such can be integrated and cross referenced in all commercial contracts. If you have carefully drafted Terms and Conditions in place then it is often easier to head-off a potential dispute, and if this is still not sufficient then a solicitor will be able to use them as the backbone of your case. It will also show that you are serious about contract preparation and due diligence, which in itself can be enough to prevent potential disputes from being considered by third parties.
Common Causes of Contract Disputes
Contract disputes can arise from the simplest of things, for example the quality of the work delivered, quality of materials or product, delivery delays, damaged goods, late payment, and even negligence. Disputes are disruptive, stressful and damaging both financially and emotionally for the businesses and individuals involved. It is therefore essential that they are resolved quickly. The longer they drag on the harder and more expensive they become to fix, and the more likely you are to lose the longer-term relationship with the other party (which may be essential to the continuity of your business).
Advice on Resolving Contract Disputes
We recommend a three stage process to resolving contract disputes, namely:
- Resolve directly with the other party
- Agree to work through the dispute using a mediation service
- Employ an experienced dispute resolution solicitor to work on your behalf
- Resolving directly
- Instruct a Dispute Resolution Solicitor
How can we help?
Else Solicitors have a highly experienced department of lawyers who recently won the Legal 500 ‘Dispute Resolution Team of the Year’ for the East Midlands (the industry leading Legal 500 ranks the top 500 law firms across the UK). If you need specific advice regarding contractual disputes then please contact Andy Rudkin (Partner, and Head of Dispute Resolution) via email firstname.lastname@example.org, or through our main office on 01283 526200.
If you need any advice on Terms & Conditions, or contract preparation, then please contact Adam Gilbert (Partner, and Head of Commercial Services) via email email@example.com or through our main office on 01283 526200.