It is well known that being involved in litigation to settle business disputes requires a substantial investment.  This is in terms of money, time, effort and stress.

Other forms of dispute resolution such as negotiations or mediations can be quicker and require less investment.  However, to work they require agreement by both parties. 

Litigation, or the threat of it, can increase your chances of a successful outcome in negotiations or mediations by focussing attention on the other side’s vulnerabilities and their costs to continue the dispute.

Until both sides recognise what their strengths and weaknesses are, there is little chance of a successful (non-litigation) resolution.

Forcing the other party into litigation means they have to face dealing with the dispute.

The Court will impose deadlines for documents and evidence to be exchanged and once again this brings into focus weaknesses and strengths.

If the other party does not settle at a level you accept, then pressing on to a Court hearing is an important strategy.  You need to consider the investment required, but so does the other party.  If they lose, you will usually be awarded costs, which will partly offset the investment you have made.

Going to Court also sends a message that you are willing to stand up for your position.  This strengthens your position in the future, both with the other party and other disputes.

If you are defending a claim, then litigation may be the best option for defending the claim and making a counter-claim (if appropriate).

Once you have convinced the other party of the weaknesses of their claim and the strengths of your position, you are in a better position to get a more favourable outcome in a mediation or negotiation.

A Court fight is not something to engage in lightly, but needs to be considered as one part of your strategy to settle business disputes.


Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-price Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.

Alan Knowsley