How do you decide whether to take someone to court?
Whencaught up in a business dispute, your instinct may be topursue legal action against the other party. Here, Grid Law founder David Walker explains the essential considerations you should take before you decide to take someone to court.
When someone owes you money, has breached your contract, poached an employee or perhaps stolen your idea, emotions will be running high. You will want to fight back and get even. Your firstthought may even be to sue them.
But should you?
Taking legal action is a serious step and whilst you often have to think and act fast, you shouldnt make any rash decisions or you could make the situation worse.
So, how do you know if taking legal action is the best decision for you and more importantly for your business?
Answering the following questions will help you decide.
You need to decide what outcome you’re looking for and whether this is something the court has the power to give. In most cases, there are three possible outcomes a court can order. These are:
Compensation (often referred to as damages)
In the vast majority of cases, there will be a monetary award. The court will order that the other party (the defendant) pays you a sum of money to compensate you for the losses you have suffered, or to take away the profits they have unfairly gained.
This is an order to stop or prevent the defendant from doing something. For example, injunctions can be used to prevent a competitor from releasing a product or using a brand that would infringe your intellectual property rights.
A court generally won’t grant an injunction if compensation is an adequate remedy. There has to be a real chance of your business suffering irreparable harm before the court will grant an injunction.
David Walker is the founder of Grid Law, a firm which first targeted the motorsport industry, advising on sponsorship deals, new contracts and building of personal brands. He has now expanded his remit to include entrepreneurs, aiding with contract law, dispute resolution and protecting and defending intellectual property rights.
Fuelling claims that the tax system is criminalising struggling owners unnecessarily, business rates advisory firm CVS discovered that one in eight owners received a summons to appear in front of a magistrate court last tax year. more»
When Flora Blathwayt and her boyfriend Josh Beauchamp decided to set up a new music festival in Somerset, the two could never have predicted it would result in a court dispute and a licence granted only four days before their maiden event. more»