Commercial disputes are inevitable no matter the industry.

Take, for example, a long-running dispute between construction giant CIMIC and engineering services firm JKC Australia, which has just ended with CIMIC agreeing to make a $492.5 million payment.

That obviously wasn’t a good result for CIMIC. But the battle, which lasted for five years, also caused disruption for JKC. So while commercial disputes might be inevitable, you should do everything you can to avoid them – and protect yourself in case they occur anyway.

Here are five steps you should take:

  1. Do your due diligence whenever a new business opportunity arises
  2. Document everything, rather than rely on handshake agreements
  3. Be specific with your contracts, instead of using boilerplate documents
  4. Get a lawyer to review all contracts before you sign on the dotted line
  5. Communicate clearly, and never over-promise and under-deliver

Read more about keeping your business disputes out of court here.

Blaine Hattie is a business lawyer and principal at Sutton Laurence King Lawyers.

Dealing with a business dispute? Get the expert legal advice you need to resolve it by working with Sutton Laurence King. Call us on 03 9070 9810 or email