Commercial Disputes: How to Know When to Call in a Solicitor

Commercial Disputes: How to Know When to Call in a Solicitor

People who create their own companies are self-starters, idea-driven people who have figured out a way to turn their big concept into something that generates income and can continue to flourish even in a marketplace as unpredictable as the one we currently find ourselves in. They don’t want to end up in a commercial dispute with another business or a partner, facing a potentially costly and lengthy battle that may risk the very thing they’ve built. With 250,000 small firms on the brink of closure at the start of this year, that’s a very real fear.

They also are not the kind of people who typically enjoy bringing in an outside voice to help resolve an issue. However, when it comes to an issue as potentially combustible as a commercial legal dispute, sometimes there’s no other option than to call a solicitor. A solicitor is often seen as the last resort, the person you get in touch with because there is absolutely no other option. But calling in a solicitor should not be treated as the nuclear option. Here’s how to know when you need to call one in.

Sometimes, you know when the threat of legal action is coming. It can be a natural escalation of an ongoing dispute that does not look like it is going to be resolved any other way. You’ll be prepared for that notice, even if you aren’t particularly looking forward to it. In other cases, the threat of legal action can take you completely by surprise. It may seem to be utterly ridiculous, a baseless threat with absolutely no substance that surely any court in their right mind would throw out without hesitation.

It may seem like only one of these scenarios would require you to call in a solicitor, but the truth is that they both do. It doesn’t matter how ludicrous you think the complaint is, if they are taking it seriously, you need to as well. A solicitor is not just there to handle a court case for you. They are there to identify whether a claim has any merit or not, and to fend off these issues before they go any further.

It is also important to note that your legal costs will start as soon as the other party has started taking proceedings, so the faster you act, the less expensive those costs will be. Commercial litigation comes in so many different forms and it is important that your lawyer has the right experience to see you through it when needing help from a solicitor. Ashwood Solicitors can help you with a wide range of different issues and they can tailor their approach to suit your business.

If You are Concerned by the Other Party’s Behaviour

Very few commercial disputes spark into life all of a sudden. There is often a period, whether it’s long or short, when the warning signs will begin to display themselves. You may notice that communications are becoming terse, aggressive, or that requests for a meeting are going unanswered. While there may be other explanations for this occurring, it is worth keeping in mind that they could be considering bringing in a solicitor of their own at this point. There is no reason to panic but bringing in a solicitor at this point could save you a great deal of time should things come to a head.

It may sound a little drastic but talking to a solicitor will help you to better understand your own position in this situation. They will be able to go through the dispute as it stands and advise you on the kind of liability that you could be facing should the other party decide to make a legal matter out of it, or indeed whether making a legal matter out of it is something that you should consider yourself. Which brings us to our next point.

We’ve gone through this article so far imagining a hypothetical situation where someone is bringing legal proceedings to you. But what happens if you want to sue another business, or you want to hold them to account from a legal standpoint? The main point here is that you should consult a solicitor as soon as you feel that you have a grievance that needs to be resolved.

As we mentioned, a solicitor isn’t just there to send warning letters or speak for you in court. They are there to help you to understand your position, to go through every communication and dealing that you have had with the other party to make sure that your case is as strong as possible. They will advise you on the best course of action and help you to avoid a court case unless it’s absolutely necessary. The government advised that conciliatory approaches are the best course of action during the pandemic, and with good reason. But the threat of legal action will always be taken much more seriously if it comes from a solicitor. What’s more, it will also allow both parties to work through the issues practically without emotions getting involved.

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