While the object of international contracting is to write and manage contracts to minimize disputes, some disagreements are inevitable. These can arise from failures by one of the parties, but also often arise from misunderstandings as to obligations under the contract.
This program will look at how claims (and counterclaims) arise; how they can be reduced or avoided by good contracts management; how they should be evaluated when received, or prepared when being delivered and how to resolve disputes arising from such claims. It will also, and most importantly, look at ways of avoiding disputed claims in the first place.
Once a dispute starts, it can usually be solved most effectively by negotiation between the parties. However, if this does not prove effective, some sort of third party intervention is required.
Traditionally, this has tended to focus on either involving state courts (litigation) or the equivalent private method of getting a third party to make a decision (arbitration). However, there are now many more techniques available in the international market, including expert determination, mini-arbitration, pendulum arbitration, adjudication, and other techniques whereby a third party decides the matter for the parties. Also, there are mediation, conciliation, hybrid solutions such as Arb/Med, where a third party facilitates the settlement by the parties themselves, rather than imposing a decision. Many of these techniques rely on looking at the parties’ interests, rather than their strict legal rights.
All of these processes, and indeed, claims and counterclaims generally, become more complicated when placed in an international context. This is particularly the case where a foreign law and/or legal system is involved, with which you may not be familiar, and which may include rules which conflict with those of your own country.