Establishing a Dispute Resolution Process

Gerald Ghikas, of Borden Ladner Gervais, LLP writes designing a dispute resolution process for long-term relationships, such as franchise systems.

This is an important area and Ghikas has some interesting ideas.

"Major projects and long-term relationships present special challenges to corporate counsel and external legal advisors charged with designing a dispute resolution process. 

They include: 

Some disputes will be about technical or scientific issues, some about legal rights and obligations, some about business issues, and some will be mixed.

Disputes may involve a wide range of amounts of money. 

Resolution of disputes on the legal merits can be important, particularly when large amounts are involved.  

Speed of decision-making can also be important, to keep the project or business going.   Disputes may involve more than two parties   

Disputes may arise under more than one contract. 

Disputes may arise in more than one jurisdiction   

Maintaining a constructive business or working relationship may be important.

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