Contract Litigation After COVID-19
Before the coronavirus upended the world economy, about one in 10 business contracts were subject to a significant claim or dispute, according to the International Association for Contract & Commercial Management.
With the ripple effects of COVID-19 – supply chain issues, work stoppages, force majeure claims and operating capital challenges among them – contracts are likely to be far more contentious in the months ahead, as parties struggle (or refuse) to meet their obligations. Small businesses, in particular, will be in a vulnerable position trying to enforce agreements with larger adversaries.
In these David-Goliath conflicts, litigation can be a helpful tool. The problem: Most companies’ cash reserves are stressed. In March, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce surveyed nearly 350 small, medium and large businesses across a dozen industry sectors. More than half said they expect to struggle financially through the COVID-19 recovery.
The traditional hourly-rate model puts financial risk on these clients: No matter the outcome of their contract lawsuit, they are responsible for compensating the attorneys for their time. For contract litigation that goes on for months, if not years, this can be significant enough to dissuade entrepreneurs from pursuing cases they could easily win on the merits.
We believe that when entrepreneurs need to fight their own Goliaths, they should not have to worry about how they will afford the battle. At Stueve Siegel Hanson, we conduct business litigation differently. We offer fee arrangements based on the results we achieve for our clients. There are no upfront fees, retainers or hourly billing; lawyers simply receive a percentage of any award collected.
Our team of litigators has recovered multimillion-dollar settlements and verdicts for business clients. Among our representative experience:
- Secured a $7.2 million jury verdict on behalf of a small Kansas City software developer for breach of the licensing agreement against a major financial services firm.
- Obtained a $2.58 million jury verdict in a case involving claims for breach of purchase agreement and employment contracts on behalf of a small business owner against the largest recreational boat manufacturer in the world.
- On the eve of trial, secured a $4 million settlement for Kawasaki, which brought claims for breach of warranty, breach of contract and fraudulent inducement against one of its major suppliers.
- Negotiated a confidential settlement for a nationally recognized sports photographer whose images were used without consent at the renovated Arrowhead Stadium. The suit included claims of breach of contract, copyright infringement, fraud and negligent misrepresentations.
To learn more about our approach to contract litigation, contact us today.