Just as you have done in business, you need to view litigation with the same methodical approach. Doing so in commerce has helped your company grow and succeed. Doing so when faced with a lawsuit may help you survive with some wounds, but also make you and your company much wiser.
Money is not the only cost that hits companies involved in lawsuits. This is why you as a business leader need to have a critical strategy in mind in addressing each of these cost-related issues, including time and reputation.
Costs: money, time and reputation
For any business, the main costs stemming from a lawsuit are:
- Money: You will spend a great amount on legal representation, perhaps even turning to outside counsel to help you gain an advantage. If you choose to pursue a legal settlement, expect to pay a high, but reasonable amount compared with the other alternative: losing the lawsuit. The latter could smart for years to come and even put your company out of business.
- Time: A lawsuit may take weeks, months and even years to reach a conclusion. For any company, this means time is taken away from what it really needs to focus on: running and growing a business. Any company will find itself several steps behind competitors, trying to catch up with them as well as the marketplace.
- Reputation: A lawsuit will tarnish your company’s reputation, either temporarily or permanently. It will take a great amount of effort to regain your reputation and recover. The reputation factor also has a direct link to money. Shrinking revenues, unsure suppliers and hesitant clients may be in store.
Also, understand that you need the resources to get through this. Your company may have to bring onboard outside counsel, who ideally will bring additional legal insight when working with your in-house counsel.
Prepare for court like you prepared for business
Litigation can be difficult, long and drawn out. A lawsuit will test the patience and stamina of any company. You must understand what will be in store for your business and prepare for court just like you prepared when you launched and grew your company.