Managing Multiparty Disputes
Corporate Disputes 32 (April-June 2014)
Posted: 18 Apr 2014
Over the last few decades, commercial transactions have become increasingly complicated. Whereas simple bilateral contracts were once the norm, contemporary commercial practice sees numerous instances of interlocking contractual commitments. Although many of these contracts appear bilateral on their face, the agreements often form a web of overlapping obligations that can create a cascade effect of defaults and breaches should one relationship run into trouble.
Because most lawyers have been trained to look at dispute resolution exclusively through a bilateral lens, corporate and outside counsel tend to adopt a two-party paradigm when considering how to manage a multiparty dispute. However, that approach can lead to increased litigation costs and missed opportunities for settlement, regardless of whether the matter is resolved in litigation, arbitration or mediation. This article helps practitioners understand the unique challenges associated with managing multiparty disputes and identifies a number of practical techniques to help resolve these types of matters quickly and efficiently.
Keywords: bilateral, contracts, commercial, dispute, resolution, litigation, costs, multiparty
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