By David Reilly, Founder and Commercial Director of Create Ts and Cs
Risk management in real terms is about managing cashflow and providing protection for you and your resources (cash, time and emotional energy) from petty long winded disputes which can drain a business. The small claims process exists for our protection and is a very efficient process which has been modified to protect businesses but it only deals with disputes under £5,000 (please note limited companies still need a solicitor when represented in small claims disputes).
Disagreements can take up a lot of time and money. Disputes are not about being morally right, its about being protected legally.
Ensure your company has put in place the facility to mediate, at times of dispute, you can introduce the option of discussion with the other party rather than progress straight to court. Its sensible to introduce terms and conditions that help to avoid disputes by incorporating as much self remedy where possible and encourages discussion to resolve disputes. If a dispute reaches court, Sheriffs and judges are interested in what points of law exist within the agreement, contract or terms and conditions and what written documentation exists to support either party. Cashflow problems, your business and the moral rights and wrongs are unfortunately irrelevant, so ensure you can deal with possible future disputes by putting in place a relevant set of terms and conditions for your business.