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Negotiation is the first step in a dispute resolution process. It has a form of direct or indirect communication where the parties with opposing interests agree to take a joint action and ultimately resolve the dispute.

Litigation is the process of settling a dispute in the court of law. The litigators or trial lawyers represent the plaintiffs and defendants in lawsuits.

Engaging a lawyer in negotiation can turn out to be very valuable as it is the most flexible form of dispute resolution.


Negotiation is also called as preeminent mode of dispute resolution. It allows the parties to meet each other and settle the dispute and control the process themselves. Each negotiation differs from another from practicing it in day to day life or at institutional or global levels. It can also be applied to other categories of dispute resolution processes like mediation, arbitration and litigation settlement conferences. Negotiation is voluntary and the parties are free to accept or reject the outcomes of it. Negotiations are bilateral and multilateral and can involve two or dozen of parties, it is non-adjudicative and doesn’t involve a neutral third party. There are no prescribed rules for negotiation and hence it is informal. In this article we shall focus on the upsides of negotiation while linking it with the litigation process


Control and flexibility- It involves only the parties interested in the matter and the parties are free to establish rules about hearings, time limits, setting the agenda, selecting the forum and identifying the participants.

Speed- litigation takes much longer time to even go to trial than negotiation takes to be resolved.

Less expensive- negotiation is less expensive as compared to the court cases as less time is required to resolve the dispute which means it would lower the costs of attorney’s fees, cost of witnesses and days booked away from doing other work. Also the discoveries and appeals are limited which helps to get saved from future expenses.

Confidentiality- as far as litigation is concerned it is open to public whereas negotiation is private and only designated parties get to attend the meetings.

Simplified rules for investigation and evidence- the complexity as well as the simplicity of the process is in the hands of the concerned parties. For example, how long the process can take, issues handled on phone calls rather than holding multiple hearings, rules of evidence, time allotted to make legal arguments etc.

Negotiator- the parties have the liberty to choose a negotiator with experience in their concerned subject matter which better than being assigned a judge randomly who may not know the subject matter.

Quicker resolution- negotiation does not require a lot of appeals and hence it takes significantly less time to go through than the court trials which means the disputes are resolved faster.

Win-win approach- no matter how strong your case may be there are chances that the judgement does not turn out in your favour. However, negotiations have a greater possibility of successful outcomes when the parties focus on their mutual needs and adopt an interest based approach.

Voluntary Process- it his highly beneficial if the dispute is sensitive in nature as no third-party neutral or outside parties are involved during the process.

Enhance relationship- if the parties reach out to an agreement then it may help them to preserve their relations.

Further you can also refer to the answer no.5 of the mentioned link to know how the skill of negotiation can benefit the budding lawyers-


Negotiation is a powerful skill set which can open doors to a lot of careers. One should have the ability to recognise the opportunities and capitalize them to negotiate for future career success. Following are some career options which are suited for people possessing brilliant negotiation skills-

Chief executive- these people are basically the strategic force behind the operations of a business. They also manage teams, liaise with staff and board members about the operational decisions.

Lawyers- no matter what area of law you work in, a great lawyer possess the ability to convert a complex information into a convincing argument.

Human Resource Manager – people in HR department are not only involved in the screening process and hiring new employees but often they also help with conflict resolution. They need to come up with a fair compromise in case of any dispute between the employees and upper management.

Purchasing Manager- setting on a final contract can be very challenging for a purchase manager which might involve multiple meetings and negotiations about the costs, fees, delivery schedules etc.

Sales Engineer- in this highly competitive time, sales engineers are required to sell scientific technologies and services to other businesses and hence they must know how to persuade a client and convince them in buying their product.

Construction manager- the best construction manager are convincing leaders as they need to coordinate and supervise the construction contract till its completion so they require this skill to negotiate budgets.

Talent agent- they are the middle men between their potential employers and negotiate contracts or fees for selling their client’s talent be it a writer, model or an artist. They must have a persuasive approach towards others and must possess good people skills.

Counselling psychologist- they have strong social skills and know how to evaluate their patients’ mental health and convince them to do good and change their lives.

Arbitrators- their key role is to remain unbiased and resolve disputes between the parties and hence are the most effective negotiators .

This is a rough idea about how well they are usually paid-


Avg Salary

Chief Executive




Human Resources Manager


Purchasing Manager


Sales Engineer


Construction Manager


Talent Agent


Counseling Psychologist





To sum up the topic lastly there are a few key rules for productive negotiation outcomes-

Information is power- be prepared about the situation, search about relevant pressure points, deal breakers, needs of the opposite parties etc. Build a rapport and ask critical questions, with proper information in your pocket, you have the power.

Employ fair objective standard- building a fair and reasonable criteria can result into a successful negotiation by depersonalizing it and also help in preserving relationships which will give you a credibility. For transactional lawyers it is a powerful tool and plays a crucial role because transactions involve parties with future relationships.

Control the agenda- this can make or break your negotiation as it a challenging element. Learn to effectively operate within the deadlines and understand the psychological tendencies underlying them.


Negotiation is based on the principle of voluntariness and good faith without transferring the dispute to the court. Moreover, one can avoid having the information published unlike in the case of litigation process as this information can also negatively affect the reputation of one’s business. Negotiation not only resolves the dispute promptly but also maintains a partner relationship trough resolution of the conflict. Hence it can be said that the need for court proceedings is only when other dispute resolution processes become ineffective and exhaustive.

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