The worst has finally happened. The project was late, over-budget, not really working – and now it is definitely over.
Maybe the client has terminated, or perhaps the supplier has walked off site. Either way, the relationship has broken down, lawyers are almost certainly involved and it’s only a matter of time before a formal claim appears in the post.
If you’re making decisions about the next steps this is the time to take a long hard look at what’s gone wrong and what the next steps should be. The need for good legal advice almost goes without saying, but what may be less obvious is the need for technical advice alongside that.
If you have an IT department,technical team or technical advisors it’s natural to turn to them, but there are 3 important reasons why you need, and your legal team will recommend, independent technical advice from an expert advisor or expert witness;
- It’s common for the project teams on both sides to be blamed for project failure, and however hard they try, your own people’s view will be coloured by their experiences. So you really do need an external, independent view.
- The right way to approach a dispute depends strongly on the nature of the contract. Any technical advisor needs to take this into account and be able to translate between the legal and technical worlds effectively.
- Probably the most important reason is that your technical team have a ‘day job’ to do. Litigation runs to its own timetable and can be very time-consuming, so while your team will inevitably need to be involved, using a technical expert will minimise the impact on day to day activities.
The right expert will be able to take on board both the technical and contractual issues to assist you, and your legal advisors, in understanding your case. Which can make the difference between a swift and relatively painless resolution of your commercial issues and a long and costly engagement with the legal system!