Even at these trying times we as Solicitors continue to be asked about how to resolve disputes. The purpose of this video is to give you as best a guide as we can as to how to resolve disputes. I will go on very soon to explain some of the areas in which we advise clients on disputes but the simple fact is that even with Covid-19, disputes happen.
As I see it, and as my experiences would seem to confirm, all human beings are programmed to have their own opinion and want to convince others of it. The vast proportion of what we do at Clarity Simplicity is advising at least one human being who is having some form of argument, dispute or debate with another human being or beings. Sometimes it is many human beings arguing with many other human beings but it does come down to the very pure and simple fact that we, as human beings, argue.
The type of situations that we very typically deal with are arguments, or debates, between
- Husband and wife
- Landlord and tenant
- Business owner and Business owner
- But, generally speaking, we become involved in any situation in life where at least one human being is having an argument with another human being.
When I am advising clients I like to establish the scale of the dispute and I do this by asking most clients to place their relationship with the person with whom they are having the dispute on a scale of one to ten. I ask clients where exactly they are on the scale. I ask them on a scale of one to ten, ten being best friends ever versus one being a terrible relationship, exactly where they would place their relationship. An answer to this tends to help Solicitors like us assist clients on how to get to the best outcome for them which in turns informs what we do next to ultimately get them to their end goal which normally is resolution of the dispute. That is to say, your dispute is fixed.
So the following is a guide as to how to resolve disputes; but, before I get there, one of the things that we will always try to encourage is to try to resolve your disputes on your own, without needing to come to a Solicitor. Therefore what we recommend is that where possible, the first thing you try is to contact the other person and very amicably and in as friendly a way as possible arrange to have a chat with them; all you’ll need is a pen, pad of paper and perhaps even a cup of coffee or a tea. It is after all only a conversation, but a conversation which ought to be designed to resolve the dispute. And remember, when attempting to resolve disputes, you must not forget that in order to meet a balance you may well have to give away more than you would prefer but as long as that gets you to where you want to be then that may not be a bad thing.
If, however, your attempts to resolve your dispute does not bring about a fix or quite simply its just not possible to even make that attempt, then there are a number of methods that we as Solicitors can use to help assist you in these situations. They are:-
- Mediation. This is set of circumstances where both parties to the dispute will meet with a trained mediator. Mediators are entirely independent and are not there to give legal advice but are there to assist both parties in coming to a resolution. At the end of most mediations, where a resolution has been achieved, the mediator will recommend that both parties then take their agreed terms to a Solicitor in order to prepare an agreed contract between both parties stating the terms of their agreement known as a Minute of Agreement or Separation Agreement.
- Collaboration. This is a dispute resolution process that, currently, relates to purely family and marital disputes in its purest form but there is no reason that its principles cannot be applied across any dispute. Both parties, and the solicitors, meet face to face to resolve their dispute through face to face solution focused discussion and again where matters can be resolved and terms agreed then both parties will head towards entering in to a Minute of Agreement.
- Negotiation. This is, and remains, the most traditional and common method of resolving disputes and is one that lawyers have used for many, many years.
- Arbitration - this is more similar to the final method that I’ll come on to but is currently relatively uncommon.
- Litigation. This is where you take your dispute to a court and present your case to the court and allow a Judge or Sheriff to determine who is right and who is wrong. Court is without question our very last option to any client in order to resolve a dispute. Court absolutely will take lots of time and it will absolutely cost a lot of money. In my own opinion there are no winners at court as ultimately, it is not a decision that either you or the other person is making but someone else entirely. In some circumstances it is however your only option and one that we can and do regularly assist and help our clients with.
Contact our Dispute Resolution Solicitors Glasgow & Edinburgh, Scotland
Complete Clarity Solicitors are based in Glasgow City Centre, Shawlands, East Kilbride and Edinburgh however, we provide legal advice throughout Scotland. With our unique teleconferencing facilities, you don’t even need to visit our office for legal advice. For an initial consultation with our mediation & litigation lawyers call us today on 0808 169 7318 or complete our online enquiry form and let us help you.