The early bird catches the worm...

Kiley Tann, Wosskow Brown
Kiley Tann, Wosskow Brown

For a business, the need to resolve a dispute is probably the most fundamental reason to call in the lawyers.

However, as the court process involved is expensive, and results can never be guaranteed, it is understandable that the parties usually try to resolve it without involving lawyers if they can. I am happy to say that, more often than not, this works and the businesses can move on.

Unfortunately, however, things are not always that black and white, and the simple resolution isn’t always the right one.

That is why it is usually a good idea to take legal advice as soon as possible when a dispute arises. In my experience, early determination of the cause of the problem, as well as a view on what the desired outcome will be, can be invaluable if a business is to get the result it wants. The actual resolution is often not an end in itself.

I often find, that by the time we lawyers have been instructed, there has been so much communication between the parties that it is no longer clear what the true intentions are. The parties can become so entangled in the web of ‘negotiation’ that it can be impossible to retreat or review the situation without causing serious damage to their reputations and credibility.

The oft heard reason that a dispute has not ‘gone legal’ is due to the perceived high legal costs to be incurred. Of course it is understandable that businesses need to keep their costs down, especially in the current economic climate: but is it a false economy?

There is no doubt that trying to undo negotiation and communication that take place before seeking legal advice costs more in the long run. The most complex and expensive legal battles are usually those where legal advice was not sought at the beginning.

At Wosskow Brown, we encourage our clients to contact us as soon as they feel that a dispute might be raising its head, so that, at the outset, we can agree on the correct strategy needed to achieve the desired result: of course with a view to avoiding court costs.

For further advice and information, contact Kiley Tan at Wosskow Brown on 0114 256 4782 or email