How can we get a US-based client to pay our invoices without court action?
A long-term client’s company was bought by a larger company and our ongoing services contract was handed over to the new company.
We are now owed a large sum of money by the new owner and we have had to get our lawyers involved; potential court action letters have been sent to the client company.
We would like to avoid actually taking court action – do you have any suggestions ?
Well, your lawyers would probably advise about alternative dispute resolution systems so maybe the issue relies around the US company hiding behind their jurisdiction.
As it is, an international mediation- even an online mediation- may be a way to end the dispute, limit it or at least to get a better idea of the things not currently working out.
Basically the mediator acts as a third neutral, impartial who listens to the parties about their interpretation of the controversy and through a handful of techniques tries to have them reach a total or partial agreement, on the parties terms.
For the mediation to have a chance of success both parties need to at least show a will to enter discussion in good faith. It´s better to recur to it when there´s a legitimate controversy and not just bad payer excuses and the like.
Another option would be for the parties to recur to arbitration but it´s a difficult path to go through when the dispute already arose. Parties would like to select the arbitration court they think better suits them and that is such a roadblock. In this case, the arbitrator doesn´t lead the parties to an agreement, just produces an enforceable award, similar to a judge´s resolution.