Clive Zietman writes in Business Matters about how start-up businesses can “litigation-proof” their business, particularly in relation to contractual disputes.

Clive states:

“Whether it’s in our personal or business lives, there is plenty of room for conflict in a world that seems increasingly fraught and complex.

“This is particularly true of the commercial world, which is now more intricate than ever before, with complicated dynamics and vast numbers of unreliable moving parts that did not exist only a few decades ago. Litigation can sound the death knell for any business, large or small, not just in terms of the unavoidable costs, but due to the disruption to operations, morale of the team and reputation. Litigation-proofing your business is critical, particularly for start-up businesses that may have been founded with a back-of-the-envelope deal.

“As a litigation lawyer, I have learnt that anything that can go wrong will go wrong and will usually do so at the worst possible time. I have also seen that the common factors that give rise to contractual disputes could often have been easily avoided with a little more care. So, looking at the problem from the other end of the telescope, as it were, how are disputes best avoided?”

Clive’s advice for start-up businesses on how to avoid contractual disputes are as follows:

  • Do not rely on oral agreements
  • The devil really is in the detail
  • Think about choice of law and jurisdiction
  • Be wary of contracts created inadvertently
  • Pay for proper drafting – prevention is better than cure
  • Carry out due diligence on the party with whom you are contracting


To read Clive’s tips in more detail, click here to read his article in Business Matters.



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