Multi-Party and International Contract Dispute Solicitors
Disputes that involve individuals or organisations who are based in different countries can often be extremely complex, due to the applicable laws and sometimes even cultural issues. Increasingly, businesses are widening their scope, which means that disputes concerning the terms of international contracts and the applicable jurisdiction are also widening and becoming more and more common.
The business dispute solicitors at Lupton Fawcett are experts in this area of law, drawing on their experience and connections to ensure that you find the best resolution available to your cross-border dispute. Whatever the cause, we will get to know you and your business, examine your contract and the applicable laws and will work to solve your issue quickly and efficiently.
If you need to bring a claim, we can offer advice on:
- the relevant law that governs your claim
- the relevant jurisdiction and the pros and cons of that jurisdiction
- any potential issues relating to data or witnesses in other jurisdictions.
Equally, if you find that your business is facing a multi-party or cross border claim, and you wish to challenge the jurisdiction of the court, or any other issue, we can offer advice and guidance.
What issues can arise with multiple party or cross border contracts?
There are a number of aspects to consider when making a cross-border contract, and they may differ depending on the type of contract. It is good practice to consider these factors from the outset, as careful planning before a contract is entered into can avoid disputes arising later on.
Taking legal advice when drawing up your contract will help to highlight any potential risks, saving both time, money and stress further down the line. When dealing with a UK based company it is much easier to identify any potential concerns before entering into a contract, using information freely and easily available. It can be more difficult to find the same level of information about a company based outside of the UK, which makes performing thorough due diligence checks extremely important.
When drawing up an agreement, the following factors need to be considered:
- Governing law – when drawing up an international contract, it is advisable to reach an agreement as to which law will be applicable exclusively or nonexclusively, and to explicitly agree this in writing. Generally, in international law, the courts will allow the parties to choose, and it is usually preferable for a UK party to choose the law of England and Wales. However, if this cannot be agreed, it is recommended that you take legal advice concerning the implications of the chosen or neutral law proposed.
- Jurisdiction – as with governing law, it is recommended that all parties agree to the jurisdiction explicitly, recording this in the contract. The choice as to which body will be responsible in the event of a dispute arising will have far-reaching implications, and it is important to carefully consider this factor.
- Language – one of the most obvious potential causes of disagreement is the fact that often, at least one party will be undertaking negotiations and agreements in a language that is not their first language. There is the real possibility for misunderstandings, or even mistranslation of certain terms, particularly when dealing with complex legal language. It may be necessary to work with a certified translation agency to ensure that the contract has been correctly translated and to avoid any issues. Ensuring that all parties are fully aware of and agree to the specific terms of the contract is crucial in the long term.
- Payment – it is vital to agree explicitly up front the terms and conditions relating to payments between the parties. It should be clear to all parties how payments should be made, in which currency and at what point in the transaction.
- Transportation of goods – if the contract involves the transportation of physical goods, you will need to be clear on the logistics involved. It is important to fully consider all the factors that can affect the movement of goods, and you may need to consider seeking advice from an insurance broker who specialises in covering this type of transaction.
Methods of resolving cross border disputes
Whilst many disputes find their way into court, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) via arbitration or mediation is increasingly being used as a way of achieving a resolution and enforcing rights without having to go through litigation. It is a popular approach as it can save time and money for all the parties involved.
The advantages of ADR include the ability to choose:
- the arbitrator that both parties want to deal with their case, ensuring that they have the specific expertise relevant to the circumstances
- the rules that both parties want the dispute to be governed by
- the extent of the information shared during the proceedings, meaning that any potentially adverse publicity can be avoided
- the time and place where proceedings will take place.
Our solicitors have extensive experience of dealing with international arbitrations, and we can represent you throughout the process. If you are struggling to resolve a dispute and are wondering whether arbitration is a suitable course of action, let us advise you. Get in touch and we will evaluate your situation and assess whether arbitration or mediation are appropriate.
How can Lupton Fawcett help?
At Lupton Fawcett, we have a well-established, global network of solicitors who will ensure that you receive the right advice for your situation. We work efficiently to ensure that our clients have a seamless experience, offering a single point of contact and advocating for the most effective resolution through mediation and arbitration where possible. We always aim to resolve disputes in the most efficient way possible, causing as little disruption to your business as possible.
We can also offer support and advice from the very outset of an international business relationship, advising you on the essential aspects to include and pitfalls to avoid when drawing up a cross border business agreement. Sound legal advice from the outset can often minimise the likelihood of future disputes by planning for, and eliminating, the most likely sources of conflict.
Based in Yorkshire, Lupton Fawcett are a leading law firm long recognised for our expertise in commercial disputes and litigation. Speak to one of our experts today – we will always put your interests first and offer a personalised service tailored specifically to meet your business needs.
We provide a personalised service, with sector specialists and extensive resources to ensure we are giving you the best solutions to your problems.
Lupton Fawcett has long been recognised for our expertise in Commercial Disputes and Litigation.
Our Contract Dispute Solicitors act regularly for clients across the United Kingdom including Bradford, Birmingham, Hull, Liverpool, London, Manchester, and Nottingham.
Our experienced team can support your needs wherever you live in England, Wales & Northern Ireland.
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