When you are faced with a dispute, you should resolve it as quickly as possible as you will be risking your reputation and your money, as a contactor. This quick guide for contractors will highlight the best course of action to take to ensure that you resolve the dispute as quickly as possible and receive payment from your client.
When you come face-to-face with a dispute than you will have to act quickly. It is important that you collect all your documents that pertain to your dealings with your client. These documents which can be used as evidence as part of your case. These could include contracts, terms and conditions of the contract, e-mails, invoices and any other relevant documents. The next step is to take written statements from key personnel that have worked with you on the project. You may want to get some preliminary legal advice so that you aware of all your legal rights from the start.
CONSIDER YOUR OPTIONS
It is important to consider your options to resolve the dispute. If you have strong evidence and a strong case than you want to go straight into fighting the dispute. However, if you need the working relationship to work after the dispute has been settled, then it is best to try and find another solution that will satisfy both you and your client. It is advisable to try and settle a dispute as amicably as possible to ensure that you do not lose your money or your reputation in the process.
CONSIDER YOUR CLIENT’S OPTIONS
It is equally important to consider your client’s options. If they are in a financial position to take the dispute further, then you may want to settle the dispute beforehand. It is also important to consider who it is you are fighting. It may be advisable to seek legal representation if you are not able to settle the dispute with your client in an amicable way.
ANALYSE DISPUTE COSTS
It is important to anlayse the costs that will be involved if you intend to fight the dispute. This will include legal costs which may increase if you need more legal counsel than previously anticipated. It is also advised to anlayse the amount of time that it will take to fight the dispute. The most favorable solution in terms of cost and time should be sought.
PLAN YOUR STRATEGY
Planning the strategy that you are going to follow to settle or fight the dispute needs to be carefully thought-out. After collecting evidence and having sought legal advice, you will need to decide on a plan of action that will produce the desired outcome. To achieve this, you will need to plan carefully and scrutinize all your key evidence. It is best to discuss these with your legal representative as they will give you the best advice to ensure that you will achieve your desired outcome. Disputes are normally settled without going to court but this may not always be the case especially if you are dealing with a big client.