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Your dispute has settled – what next? part one

By Sarah Naylor

Published In: Business Services

Disputes are an inevitable part of life, arising in various situations. Whether it was a business disagreement, a family dispute, or a legal matter, finding resolution is a significant milestone. Settlement of a dispute could have been through an informal agreement, Court judgment, mediation or formal settlement.

However, the conclusion of a dispute doesn't signify the end. In this blog, we will explore what happens after a dispute has settled and how individuals can navigate the aftermath. Crucially we will discuss how you can help avoid similar things happening in future.

 

1. Closure

 

The first and often overlooked aspect of post-settlement life is emotional recovery i.e. closure. Disputes can be emotionally draining, and even with a resolution, individuals may still experience residual feelings of frustration, anger, or disappointment. Taking time to acknowledge and process these emotions is crucial for personal healing and growth.

 

2. Rebuilding relationships

 

Disputes can strain relationships, be it between business partners, family members, or friends. Post-settlement is a good time to assess the damage caused and work towards rebuilding these connections. This is particularly important in commercial disputes where businesses may continue to work together in the future.

 

3. Implementing and monitoring agreements

 

In legal disputes, the settlement agreement or court judgment may often involve specific agreements and obligations. It is essential for all parties involved to meticulously implement the terms agreed or ordered. Whether it's the payment of damages, adherence to new business practices, or fulfilling contractual obligations, vigilant oversight ensures that all parties uphold their end of the bargain. This may involve regular check-ins, audits, or legal mechanisms to address non-compliance promptly.

 

4. Learning and growth

 

The conclusion of a dispute is a good time to reflect and take stock. Disputes always provide an opportunity to assess whether things could have been done differently, and consider how changes could be made to avoid similar disputes arising in future. Individuals and organizations should analyse the root causes of the dispute, evaluate their own contributions, and identify areas for improvement. For example, if a business ends up in a lengthy court case involving breach of contract allegations, which in part arose from failure to have a written contract in place, that business could learn from the process and make sure that they always have written contracts with clear terms in future. This process will help prevent similar conflicts in the future.

 

5. Reputation management

This is particularly important in commercial disputes involving businesses. Disputes, especially those that reach legal proceedings, can attract public attention, social media posting and carry a risk of damaging reputations. After a settlement, it's crucial to engage in proactive reputation management. This might involve communicating the resolution to stakeholders, clients, or the public, highlighting the commitment to positive change and emphasising any changes implemented following the dispute.

While the resolution of a dispute marks the end of a challenging chapter, it also marks the beginning of a new opportunity for positive change. Closure, rebuilding relationships, implementing agreements, learning from the experience, monitoring compliance, managing reputation, and moving forward are integral components of the post-settlement phase. By navigating these aspects with intention and care, individuals and organisations can ensure a smoother transition into a more positive and constructive future.

To discuss any post-dispute issues contact Sarah Naylor at sarah.naylor@switalskis.com or call 01302 320621.

 

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Sarah has over 18 years’ experience in the legal sector. She is a Director and Solicitor as well as the Head of our Commercial and Disputes team

Director and Solicitor

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