Commercial Dispute – Litigation of Settle?


18 June 2018

By Justin Emerson

In any litigation particularly that of a commercial nature the parties always need to be mindful of the potential for settlement.

Settlement gives the parties control over the outcome.  At trial the outcome is in the hands of the Judge. Settlement will give the parties certainty and closure.  It will avoid the delay and risks at trial.  The successful party at trial will be awarded their costs, however they rarely recover all of their costs from the other side.   Obviously the legal merits of the dispute are a key consideration when assessing settlement terms but there are a number of other factors that are all relevant and should be considered.

Cost & Benefit Analysis

Parties need to consider and compare the costs of litigation with the potential benefits before proceeding to a contested trial.  That cost benefit analysis should be monitored throughout the litigation and compared with potential settlement outcomes. 


In addition to legal costs there will be input required from the business and its management team.  The impact of this time input does need to be factored in. 

Ongoing relationship with other party

If the parties intend or want to continue to work together in future then sometimes reaching an amicable settlement may be the best way forward.  Trials can lead to adverse publicity.  They can also set unhelpful precedents which may lead to further claims. 

Opponent's resources

Can the other side pay the sums claimed?  If there is a concern over their financial position then settlement may be the preferred option.


For further information on the services offered by our Dispute Resolution Team please contact Justin Emerson on 01245 228113 or

This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.