A partnership dispute between General Practitioners (GPs) will affect a business and its employees but most importantly, if it becomes serious it has the potential to affect the patients you treat. So do not under any circumstances let your GP dispute fester without paying it some serious attention. It is always best to deal with issues when they are at their minor stage, nipping them in the bud, rather than letting them progress to a major stage.
Dealing With A Dispute
First things first, look to your partnership agreement. Partnership agreements are legally binding documents and if you have a well drafted agreement it will contain all the information you should need to settle your dispute quickly, be this detailing the procedure for removing a partner, or detailing which form of dispute resolution it has been agreed that parties will use. Generally common issues will be dealt with and you should have specific rules and procedures outlined within the document that must be adhered to.
There are 3 common ways of dealing with dispute if you cannot simply use the partnership agreement to resolve it. These are the following (listing in heightening degree of both severity and cost):-
Mediation: mediation is the most relaxed form of dispute resolution. It simply involves the parties talking through the issue with a mediator present. The mediator does not contribute to the discussion, nor do they offer their opinion on the matter. The idea is that the mediator allows each party fair and equal time to speak and get their opinion across in a non-aggressive environment. The aim is ultimately for a conclusion to be reached which is mutually accepted without having to take the matter further.
Arbitration: For arbitration to commence both parties must have voluntarily agreed to the use of this form of dispute resolution. This agreement will either be made at the time of the dispute, or will have been made before the dispute occurred. Usually this will be in the partnership agreement, which must have been voluntarily signed. A chartered arbitrator will look over the case and all its evidence and will then make a legally binding decision on how to best resolve the dispute. The benefit of arbitration to businesses is that it is completely confidential and generally takes less time than traditional litigation, making it cheaper.
Litigation: Finally, traditional litigation. If no other technique works, take your case to court. It will come to a conclusion which will be enforced by law. It may take longer than other options and be slightly more expensive but ultimately it will put the matter to bed.
Contact a business dispute lawyer or a chartered arbitrator today if you need advice regarding the best resolution option for your GP partnership dispute.