While we hope that you may never have to run into this issue, and for the most part it is relatively exceptional, Status, like any other organisation, faces the risk of entering into disputes, whether they are arising from internal or external events, within or outside of Status’ control and with different types of counterparties, from service provides to (former) CCs (“Counterparty”).
Therefore we have developed this guidance for CCs on how you can help prevent and mitigate potential disputes, protect Status’ interests and how to best collaborate with Legal to resolve any disputes in the most peaceful and amicable manner possible.
It is more than likely that Status will fail to fulfil its obligation(s) towards a Counterparty or if Status has already failed on its obligation(s) towards a Counterparty (doesn’t matter if the Counterparty is aware about this or not). For example,
Status failed to pay, or failed to pay on time any amounts due (e.g. an invoice has been unpaid past the stated due date);
Breached a term of a contract in any way, for example, by inappropriate use of services (e.g. a service is being used contrary to a service’s acceptable use policy); or
Breached confidentiality (e.g. a CC inadvertently shares confidential information with another third party that is not compliant with the contract).
If a Counterparty claims that Status is not fulfilling its obligations (whether this is accurate or not) or threatens legal action against Status in this respect; or
if a legal counsel or a law firm has taken over communications with Status;
Do not let the Counterparty know you are involving Legal, (for example, do not include Legal in -cc to an email with a Counterparty) unless Legal has advised you to do so. In our experience, if a Counterparty becomes aware that Legal is being involved, it may escalate an already sensitive situation or unnecessarily provoke hostility.
Communicate with the Counterparty only in consultation with Legal and other internal stakeholders as relevant, for example, your team lead.
Any communication with the Counterparty must be screened and approved by Legal.
Any strategy or potential proposals/compromises must also be discussed with Legal.
Rectify/Monitor - Legal and CC should continue to monitor for any potential signs that the dispute may resume or re-escalate and ensure that events or factors which led to the dispute have been adequately addressed (e.g. has Status’ failure to perform an obligation now being rectified?)
Lessons learned - Legal, CC, relevant team lead and any other relevant internal stakeholders should form a “lessons learned” group to review the events and factors, which led up to the dispute and determine whether any changes to procedure or practices should be made to prevent or mitigate the chance of such a dispute arising again. Notes and conclusions should be well documented for future reference