Pre-Dispute Negotiation

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Use the Equa Negotiation and settle your matter before it aggravates.

Pre-dispute negotiation refers to the process of attempting to resolve a dispute or conflict before it escalates into formal legal proceedings. It involves the parties involved in the dispute engaging in discussions, negotiations, and dialogue in an effort to reach a mutually acceptable resolution.

Here are some key considerations and steps for pre-dispute negotiation:

Pre-dispute negotiation provides an opportunity for the parties involved to maintain control over the outcome and potentially avoid costly and time-consuming legal proceedings. It allows for the exploration of mutually beneficial solutions and fosters a cooperative approach to dispute resolution.

Negotiation has been defined as any form of direct or indirect communication whereby parties who have opposing interests discuss the form of any joint action which they might take to manage and ultimately resolve the dispute between them. Negotiations may be used to resolve an already-existing problem or to lay the groundwork for a future relationship between two or more parties.

Negotiation has also been characterized as the “preeminent mode of dispute resolution”, which is hardly surprising given its presence in virtually all aspects of everyday life, whether at the individual, institutional, national or global levels. Each negotiation is unique, differing from one another in terms of subject matter, the number of participants and the process used.

Given the presence of negotiation in daily life, it is not surprising to find that negotiation can also be applied within the context of other dispute resolution processes, such as mediation and litigation settlement conferences.

There are considerable advantages to settling a dispute by way of mediation, discussions or negotiations. Not only is the process likely to be swifter, more procedurally flexible and cost-efficient than a traditional arbitration or litigation, but also parties have intimate knowledge of the facts of the case and are in the best position to reach a negotiated settlement that is commercially beneficial to both parties. While courts and arbitral tribunals are empowered to pass enforceable awards, and arbitration is increasingly viewed as an opportunity to have a dispute heard by a tribunal well-versed in the technicalities and complexities of commercial conflicts, the fact remains that arbitrators and judges are guided and constrained by legal principles, not commercial considerations. On the other hand, the parties involved in the dispute are familiar with their commercial goals and trade-offs they can make. Parties are also not limited to conventional judicial remedies but can reach more innovative solutions that satisfy their practical requirements.

Further, closed-door negotiations are likely to have a limited impact on the parties’ business relationship in other respects, as opposed to drawn-out and frequently publicised adversarial proceedings before the courts or an arbitral tribunal. Settlement negotiations offer far greater privacy than either arbitrations or litigation. While settlement negotiations may require parties to disclose sensitive information to be meaningful, upfront agreement that the negotiation should be confidential and conducted on a without-prejudice basis may be helpful in avoiding any setbacks arising from such disclosures.