So as the clock begins to tick down towards Brexit in 2019 there will also be a looming deadline of changing business relationships – notably those dependent on ongoing cross-border contracts with Europe as well as with those organisations that receive EU funding. Whilst we would all hope that any relationships that need to be renegotiated, for whatever reason, can be done smoothly we also know that in real life problems in contract negotiations can and do occur and progress can get deadlocked.
Whether it is industrial turbines from Slovakia, professional services from Denmark, cheese from France, a strategic partnership with Italy, or even a development agency in the UK, when the terms of Brexit become known there may be bumps in the road to making new and workable deals. It may be all too easy for some of these stumbling blocks to escalate into claims and litigation.
Think outside of the box:
Planning for the unknown, whilst very difficult, is also essential – so think about your own or your client’s negotiation goals, what your strategy should be and how to – as well as who will – negotiate. Also anticipate that if your renegotiations do run into troubled waters there are many different ways that you can get help from assisted negotiation techniques, such as mediation or neutral chairing, by accessing those with the right skills from organisations like CEDR. Whilst it is absolutely fine to ‘go it alone’ while negotiations are working well, when things do get stuck, spending a day with a neutral or even investing in a couple of jointly assisted meetings can make the difference between success and failure.
So with the clock ticking we may not, as yet, envisage the shape of potential problems arising from any contract renegotiations. But it will be essential that we are prepared for what we will need to do to ensure that – as far as possible – we and our clients can experience business as usual while making the most of any potential opportunities before the clock runs out.