Challenges For Lawyers: internal negotiations

Challenges For Lawyers: internal negotiations

This series of reflections are based on a work developed as complementary handouts for workshops on M&A topics realised originally for the AIJA Winter Session of 2020.

As a business psychological consulting team, we would like to contribute to this session offering you some insights based on our specific studies in social and business psychology as well as on the experience gained with clients in similar roles to yours.


Starting from the briefing offered us by your colleague, we understood that one of your goals might be to focus on internal negotiations, with your own clients, even before the actual dispute.

Alignment with our clients is not always obvious; sometimes, emotions or even internal power disputes may lead to requests that are not in the client’s best interest. How to negotiate the best strategy with our own clients in the first place?


Business people never consider court cases the best option. So if they go that way there must be something. What’s the real matter? Figure out what nerve was hit. Often the dispute is a formal way to act on an emotional trigger. Of course it is a very sensitive matter and you will consider, based on your relation ship with the client, how, or even if, to address it. Anyhow, being aware of it will help you to manage the situation with more confidence and to avoid to bebeing manipulated.


On otherAnother threat, in dispute resolution is to misinterpret the roles that are involved. Who are you negotiating whith? Map out all stakeholders of your client (refer to the handout that comes with the in-house session). Who is your client’s client? Who is putting pressure in one or the other direction?


Last but not least, as for any negotiation, broaden the field; what’s the long term objective of your client? Losing a game to win the championship is often a good change of perspective. This might appear obvious, but when we get angry or anxious the perimeter of our vision narrows; this might happen to your client as well.


We are well aware that these inputs are just the tip of the iceberg. They are meant as a teaser and starter for your own reflections.