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Future-proof your Business from the Risk of Litigation

Written by Anastasia Misarvidis-Tyshing

This month Silicon Beach held an event on future-proofing your business, featuring Trisha Lingard (View Trisha’s Lawyer Profile) from Aptum Legal. The event was hosted by Legally Yours CEO and ALTA Vice President Karen Finch and was sponsored by THNK.Innovation, CFO Worx, Heasley Lawyers and Legally Yours.

The event started with a brief introduction by Karen, introducing Trisha who has had 6 years of experience in commercial dispute resolution and litigation. According to Trisha, the sad reality is that disputes inevitably exist and will arise, while hindsight is a glorious thing, there are some key mitigation strategies that businesses should be taking advantage of.

So, why do you need to future proof your business?

Prevention is better than a cure. It is important to clearly outline agreed-upon terms in all business dealings in order to save costs, time, and business relationships should things go wrong. Making sure you have future-proofed your business can help you save on expensive litigation fees, emotional energy, and mental health. In order to do this, Trisha broke up futureproofing your business into three broad topics:

Stop Disputes Arising

Her first tip was to put it in writing; you need to be able to prove that there was an actual agreement.

Even in good faith business relationships, there can be genuine misunderstandings that may lead to litigation. Your agreement should include things like decision-making processes and critical business decisions.

Who you’re doing business with is another important aspect to consider. Disputes can often bring out the worst in people. Because of this, checks and balances are essential in business dealings. Don’t make commitments until you have done your due diligence on your potential partner.

Finally, review your contracts, and keep in mind standard terms can be negotiated. It is important you understand your specific obligations and consider the duties you need to comply with before signing an agreement.

Stop Disputes Escalating

If a dispute does arise, it is important to face the dispute head-on. There can be strict time limitations to deal with disputes. In addition, dealing with issues in a timely manner can help to show good faith, preventing the other party from becoming frustrated.

When dealing with disputes, it is important to focus on the preferred outcome for each party. This will help to streamline the dispute resolution process and give you insight into the other sides shoes.

Most importantly, you need to think commercially when approaching disputes. There may not always be a strong utility in pursuing litigation. Especially with smaller claims, the legal fees can be costly, outweighing the benefit of formal legal proceedings.

Manage Litigation and Regulatory Action

It is important to get the right lawyer when entering litigation. The right lawyer will have relevant experience and provide an honest assessment of your situation.

One thing that Trisha flagged, in particular, is that your prospective lawyers should be concerned about avenues to settle rather than a fight to the death. It is essential to understand your legal position and ascertain what an achievable outcome is.

Finally, you will need to gather evidence – treat the litigation like a project.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the event:

  1. Make sure you seek legal advice and put your internal and external agreements in writing.
  2. Be outcomes-focussed when approaching potential disputes.
  3. Think commercially about how to resolve a dispute.
  4. Choose the right disputes lawyer who is experienced, will provide a frank and fearless assessment of the merits of your position, and one who is committed to adding value and providing certainty in relation to costs.

Overall, it is essential that you find the right legal advice in order to future proof your business. Aptum are specialists in the litigation process and have years of experience in the area. To start the conversation about what your business is facing, contact Aptum.

info@aptumlegal.com.au

03 7020 9230

What to know more? You can watch the full event recording here or click the below Youtube video to view the full experience.