Nabarro hosts the Society for Computers & Law Masterclass

United Kingdom

This article was produced by Nabarro LLP, which joined CMS on 1 May 2017.

Nabarro recently hosted the Society for Computers & Law Masterclass on Dispute Resolution clauses.

Chaired by Iain Rutherford of Brodies, Glasgow, the panel consisted of Lee Gluyas (Partner, Nabarro), Clive Freedman (Barrister, 3VB) and John Sturrock (Mediator, Brick Court Chambers).

Each member of the panel approached the issues from a different perspective, but all were in agreement that mediation and expert determination can be effective processes for resolving commercial disputes, often with the additional benefit of enabling the parties to work together in the future, a situation rarely seen after expensive and acrimonious court or arbitration proceedings. However, the timing of a mediation should be considered carefully. If conducted before the parties are ready, it could be counterproductive and lead to the parties becoming more entrenched in their views.

Dispute resolution clauses as a whole should be considered carefully by the parties when the contract is negotiated, taking account of the nature of the goods and services to be delivered. For example, a dispute resolution clause appropriate for a contract concerning a one-off transaction for the sale of goods would not be appropriate for a lengthy outsourcing contract. Dispute resolution clauses are often the subject of little, or no, consideration during contract negotiation. Whilst this is understandable given that at that stage the parties will not wish to think about how they would resolve a dispute, an ill-considered dispute resolution clause can exacerbate problems if a dispute does arise.

If you would like to discuss any issues relating to dispute resolution clauses please let us know. We will be happy to help.