Emotions run high in disputes

15 November 2007
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15 November 2007

Wounded pride and a sense of personal betrayal often turn procurement disputes into protracted legal battles, research has revealed.

Two-thirds of the 75 respondents to a study by law firm Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) said emotion and personal pride often stood in the way of a quick resolution of commercial disagreements.

Nearly half admitted personal dislike of the other side had led them into litigation. And 97 per cent said most business people underestimate the time and cost required to fight commercial disputes.

Alexandra Underwood, a solicitor for FFW, said the first priority is to prevent disputes getting out of hand, with opinions becoming entrenched. "It's important that employees are encouraged to report to management any difficulties that arise. Emotions are particularly strong when the employee has been involved in agreeing the contract."

Procurement should note any conversations relevant to the dispute, safeguard paperwork and alert lawyers as soon as possible, she added.



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