Contract law is complicated and can often lead to dispute.
Wherever goods and services are traded, contracts exist. They can be either express or implied and business relationships depend on them strongly.
Even though contracts exits, problems still arise. Often, this can occur through miscommunications or error, although they sometimes happen through the attempt by one of the parties to gain an unfair advantage.
Often there is conflict and a strong need for a resolution. From my experience, the first step many people think of is taking court action. But is that necessarily the best solution? Court proceedings can be very costly, so much so that the cost can sometimes exceed the value of the subject matter in dispute. Just as bad is the fact that it can take months or even years to get a decision on what may seem to you to be a straightforward issue.
Contract Law is complicated
Contract law is constantly evolving and increasing in complexity. This, in part, is due to burgeoning regulations introduced for consumer benefit, and partly down to interpretive decisions of the courts. Matters related to human rights certainly play a part in this, as well as a growth in provisions for both internet and software contracts. However, these are not the only secotrs to have developed rapidly over recent years.
Contracts are usually between two or more parties, but may also involve others, often when exercising third party rights. It may be a partner, customer or client, an agent or perhaps a member of staff who is breaching an agreement that you have.
Implied and explicit contracts
Whether a particular contractual agreement is written or oral, or the terms are implied by the behaviour of the parties, laws still apply. A quick resolution is key when you are having contract problems. The first step is to meet with the other party to forge an agreement. Failing that, if you can at least get the other party’s agreement to go to mediation, you may be able to resolve the problem without the stress and expense of going to court.
Keep in mind that just because there is no written agreement, it does not mean that there are no responsibilities or obligations for the parties involved. Even if court
proceedings have begun with a claim either by you or by the other party it is worth having
them adjourned to try mediation.
The benefits of talking to a specialist mediator
In order to resolve these kinds of issues successfully in a complicated case, it may be advisable to seek the advice of a specialist barrister or solicitor, who has a good understanding of the relevant law. If the dispute is one of substance, they will be able to help not only with trying to negotiate a settlement but if it comes to a mediation, can represent your interests there and help you get the right result.
My best advice to you is that you take action now. The longer a dispute drags on, the more entrenched the parties become and the more difficult it becomes to resolve it.
‘Who should’ & ‘How to’ take action
You should make contact straight away if…
- Someone is breaking the terms of an agreement, written or otherwise
- You have a contractual problem with a franchise holder, a partnership or an agency
- A supplier has failed to meet their obligations
- A customer has failed to meet their obligations
- You are relying on a contract which requires being interpreted.
Get the right legal advice faster
Rather than following the process of going through a solicitor to be referred on to a barrister, you can now, if you prefer to do so, contact some barristers directly yourself. This way you will have the help that you need almost immediately. Avoiding unnecessary delays, you will also avoid the extra expense that is incurred when being referred by a solicitor.
Stewart Patterson is an experienced barrister of long standing, he has a depth of knowledge ofcommercial law and contract law issues and is well equipped to act as a mediator in such disputes.
By taking action now the process is easy and fast. Very quickly you will be confident that you are dealing with a specialist. You can make your initial enquiry by phone or email and this is free to do.