Many major business process outsourcing arrangements involve long term contracts, ranging from 5, 10 to 15 years, sometimes even longer. During the period of such long and complex contracts it is almost inevitable that issues, and sometimes more serious disputes, will arise between the parties. Better contracts and better contract management can reduce the likelihood of these disputes/issues arising, but cannot entirely eliminate the risk.
When a serious dispute arises, the innocent party may have a contractual right of termination. But this nuclear option is rarely in the best interests of either party, and may be completely out of the question for a public body which is relying on the contracted services to meet its statutory obligations. Claims for damages may also be available, but will do little to restore service.
Working with our legal colleagues we can offer a range of services which will help the parties to get the project back on track. Our priority will be to advise on how to try to restore service, rebuild relationships, improve communications, and reinstate a win-win culture. Our consultants have long and deep experience of helping their clients to find commercial solutions to all of the issues that typically arise in a long term contractual relationship, and recourse to contractual remedies can usually be avoided.
Even where legal recourse cannot be avoided, our colleagues in the Fieldfisher law firm are on hand to take the parties through a consensual mediation process to resolve the dispute without resorting to litigation.