Should you say sorry in a contract dispute?

| Jan 15, 2020 | Business Litigatioon |

Contract disputes can easily happen in the business world. If you do not resolve the issues promptly, they can lead to litigation. It can cost both parties a considerable amount of time, money and stress. What is more, even though one party may “win” the dispute, the reality is that both sides may lose in some way. The relationship they had may never be the same again.

Any business contract is in effect the formalization of a relationship. Like all relationships, it requires the effort of both sides for it to work. There will be occasions when things go wrong, and one side feels upset. When that happens, as with any relationship, sometimes all that is needed to make things better is to say sorry. Yet as Elton John sang in 1976, sometimes, “sorry seems to be the hardest word.”

An apology can go a long way

If you breach a contract you made with another company, think about what they want to hear. Do they want to listen to your list of excuses? Are they looking for you to tell them it was not your fault? Or do they want you to say a heartfelt sorry and find a solution?

Watch what you say when you apologize

If you are not sure what to say or do when accused of breaching a contract, seek advice. Despite the effectiveness that an apology can bring, occasionally, it may create further problems. You need to be careful what words you use. There is a big difference between “Sorry to hear that. Let me investigate and get back to you” and “I am sorry for failing to fulfill your order and breaching the agreement I signed.”