Even with thoughtful planning and business contracts in place, business disputes are a reality for many businesses in the Chicagoland area. At some point during the lifespan of every business, it is likely that the business and/or its owners will be involved in a business dispute. Business disputes arise every day. Disputes between partners, disputes between businesses, and disputes between businesses and customers / clients. When business disputes do arise, our Chicago business litigation attorneys are ready to counsel and advise their clients, whether it be through negotiation or litigation. Our business litigators first work with our clients to attempt to resolve the disputes, and in the event that no resolution is reached, our business litigation attorneys are well regarded for their courtroom advocacy.
Avoiding Business Disputes
Business disputes are often unavoidable. Customer nonpayment, non-performance of a supplier or vendor or partners breaching a contract or fiduciary duties oftentimes result in necessary formal legal action.
One way to potentially avoid a business dispute is to have clear and unambiguous business contracts. Whether it be an operating agreement, shareholder agreement, vendor agreement, supply agreement, promissory note or other contractual agreement, it is important to specifically lay out each parties’ obligation. Without written agreements, enforcing action on another individual or business can be difficult. When a business dispute does arise, a properly drafted contract can be enforced in court. Our Chicago business lawyers are well-versed in drafting and tailoring business contracts to fit the needs of each individual business client.
Common Business Disputes
Some common business disputes include breach of contract disputes, partnership disputes, shareholder disputes, member disputes, vendor disputes. Disputes can arise between two businesses, between a business and customer / client, and inside businesses (between partners, shareholders and members). Disputes can arise due to fraud, negligence, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation, tortious interference, among many other things.
For example, a breach of contract occurs when one or more parties violate terms of an agreement. Breach of contract disputes are usually the most common type of business dispute, since a breach of contract dispute can include any type of contract, from employment agreements to commercial purchase contracts to landlord-tenet agreements, among others.
Partnership disputes are also common and involve a disagreement between two or more business partners. The disagreement could involve a business decision, financial compensation, the misappropriation or conversion of business funds or even the leadership and direction of the business.
Resolving Business Disputes with Litigation
When a business dispute arises, our Chicago litigation attorneys are prepared to go to court on behalf of our clients. If we are not able to resolve a dispute through negotiation, we are prepared to move forward as necessary. Resolving a dispute without litigation is always the first goal, but litigating in court often becomes the only option.
Resolving Business Disputes with Arbitration or Mediation
Mediation and arbitration are two ways to resolve business disputes without having to resort to litigation in court.
Mediation is a process by which the parties to a dispute attempt to resolve their differences by involving a neutral third-party mediator (usually a judge or attorney). The parties meet with the mediator and attempt to settle their dispute. The mediator will give his neutral views to each party regarding the strengths and weaknesses of each side of the case. Mediations can be beneficial as they are private and confidential, as opposed to using the court system. Mediation allows the parties to resolve their disputes both before and after litigation has been initiated. Although the parties enter mediation with hopes of reaching an amicable resolution, the parties are not required to settle during mediation and the mediator does not make any binding decision. If the parties do not resolve their dispute through mediation, they can proceed with arbitration or litigation.
Arbitration is more formal than mediation, but less formal than courtroom litigation, and is typically binding on the parties. A neutral and impartial arbitrator hears the evidence, arguments and testimony from both sides and makes a binding decision, much like a judge. As with mediation, the arbitration process can usually be scheduled and resolved in less time than formal litigation. Arbitrations are typically private and confidential, certainly more so than filing a lawsuit in court.
Both mediation and arbitration clauses can be included in a contract.
Seek Legal Counsel for your Business Dispute
Even with appropriate business contracts good business practices in place, it is still possible that business disputes may occur in the form of partner disputes, employment disputes, member disputes, breach of contract disputes, or other disputes. Regardless of the type of business dispute, it is critical to receive legal counsel in a timely manner and to address the dispute appropriately.
Our Chicago business litigation attorneys are available to assist with your business dispute. We represent clients in Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, McHenry County, Will County and throughout the Chicagoland area and other parts of Illinois. To schedule a consultation with one of our business litigators today, please contact us online or call our Chicago law office at 312-789-5676.