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Business disputes – what are some indications that it’s time to get a lawyer involved?

We understand conflicts are disruptive to your business and are often stressful and perhaps costly to your operation. Sometimes conflicts escalate slowly, and you remain hopeful that you can resolve the issue yourself or that the passage of time will help. Subscribing to the old adage “ignore it and it will go away” is tempting, but not likely effective. Other times, a business dispute can blindside you and leave you confused, upset, anxious and scrambling for a solution.
Regardless of the stage of your disagreement, it’s helpful to know when to seek legal advice and invest in protecting your business. There are many different causes that can occur before contacting a lawyer in times of disputes, but here are a few important ones to keep in mind:

  1. You receive a credible threat of a lawsuit, or you are served a notice of civil claim or a petition, do not delay in contacting a lawyer as a timely response is likely required. Your lawyer should return your call or email promptly, but sometimes there can be delays so do not hesitate to contact an assistant or another lawyer.
  2. High stakes dispute. If there are significant costs, losses, or opportunities at stake, such as considerable disruption to your business while your dispute remains unsettled, it’s time to take action to minimize your losses.
  3. There is a history of disputes with the other party and you anticipate a pattern of behaviour that is likely to continue or escalate, it’s time. If you’re feeling bullied, need the behaviour to stop and find a resolution for your peace of mind, a lawyer can help you make the progress you need and deserve.
  4. If you’ve tried to resolve a dispute yourself after a period of time without success you may require a lawyer to mobilize the other party to respond and negotiate a resolution. There comes a time when unresolved disputes are eroding your time and energy.
  5. After multiple attempts to resolve a dispute you are unable to reach the other party or there is no response. A lawyer can often help locate individuals, and, if necessary, have them served with documents that require a timely response.

When in doubt, call a lawyer to ensure you benefit from the greatest opportunity for early resolution. Conversely, leaving it too late is risky and could complicate the outcome. We also believe in peaceful resolutions that preserve important business relationships to the greatest extent possible.

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