Business Disputes

Running a business involves having interactions with a variety of people and entities. Despite our best efforts, disputes may develop at times, which need to be addressed quickly and effectively so as to not hamper short-term operations or damage the business or its relationships in the long-term.

Internally, businesses may see conflicts arise among employees at the same level, or between managers and subordinates. This could stem from poor conduct or management, contractual issues and breaches, as well as personality conflicts or discriminatory behaviour.

Disputes are also common between directors and shareholders of proprietary limited companies and unlisted public companies, as well as partners in business. In such cases, parties involved have a number of contractual and statutory obligations governing their rights to the dispute; including employment contracts, contracts for services, directors duties, the Constitution or the replaceable rules of the company and shareholder agreements.

Externally, businesses can be in conflict with other businesses including competitors, suppliers, contractors, insurers and manufacturers – to name a few. Causes of conflict are often contractual, financial or related to intellectual property, copyright and privacy, however they can occasionally result from personal issues such as defamation.

Communication with government bodies is a requirement for business over regular activities such as tax, superannuation, regulations, workers compensation and fair trade practice, where non-compliance can be problematic. In certain scenarios, involvement with government bodies and financial institutions such as banks can be complex and extensive, for example when a business is facing administration, insolvency and debts are accrued. In such cases, there is strong likelihood for disagreements to arise.

At SHAW DR, we can help save you time, money and reputation by resolving disputes you may have with the individuals and entities listed below, so that you can continue forward with your business:

  • Customers or clients
  • Competitors
  • Directors or shareholders
  • Business partners
  • Franchisor or franchisee
  • Employees, staff or management
  • Manufacturers, suppliers, contractors or subcontractors
  • Banks and financial institutions
  • Local, state and national government

The disputes might be concerning any of the following:

  • Contract agreement and breach of contract
  • Partnership/dissolution of partnerships
  • Finances and guarantees
  • Purchase and sale of business
  • Due diligence
  • Directors duties
  • Shareholder rights
  • Bankruptcy, administration, insolvency and foreclosure
  • Debt recovery
  • Ownership of business
  • Tax, capital gains and superannuation
  • Insurance
  • Governance
  • Trade practices and fair trading
  • Property/retail shop leases and conveyancing
  • Franchising
  • Products and product liability
  • Payment terms
  • Warrantees and guarantees
  • Residential and commercial leases
  • Licences
  • Leasehold and freehold rights
  • Copyright and trade marks
  • Intellectual property (IP)
  • Privacy and confidentiality
  • Libel and slander, defamation
  • Workplace conflict
  • Workplace Injury

Let’s Decide!

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Alison Shaw of SHAW Mediation successfully mediated a contract and building works dispute for one of our clients.  I found the mediation to be useful in requiring the disputing parties to be in one place at one time, allowing each side to express their position (and even vent their frustrations) whilst being kept in line by an experienced mediator. It was by no means certain to me beforehand that the matter would resolve at the mediation, but Alison’s guidance and systematic approach facilitated a commercial settlement.  I am confident the parties would not have reached a better outcome if they had gone to court.  I rate highly the mediation process used by Alison Shaw in this matter, and would recommend her to other clients considering mediation in the future.

Matthew Hawke

Cowell Clarke