One of the more difficult tasks associated with claim package development is creating persuasive arguments that establish the impact made by events outside of your control. The best claim packages avoid the tone and jargon of a boring legal white paper – instead, they tell a compelling story. Consider the following tips for developing an effective claim package structure:
1. Know Your Audience
Much like a presentation or speech, you must adapt the structure and tone of your claim package to your target audience. Your goal is to maintain a position of strength and maximize your recovery value without having to enter arbitration or a court proceeding. This requires understanding the way the receiving team members think. Do they respect direct and precise communication? Are they more sympathetic and compassionate? Learning about your audience first will help define the way you tell your story and establish the appropriate tone of the claim package.
2. Know the Counter-Arguments
The most effective claim packages directly address anticipated counter-arguments before they are made. Much like a structured debate, anticipating your client’s position will give you the upper hand. If you have a strong feel for the likely counter-arguments that will be made, consider structuring your claim package so that their significance is minimized, or dismiss them as being irrelevant to the claim for which you are seeking compensation.
3. Know the Likely Outcome
Similar to understanding your audience, you must also evaluate the likelihood of your dispute proceeding to formal arbitration or litigation. This will help you determine exactly how comprehensive your claim package is and how much information you share. If you have a high degree of confidence in settling the dispute before lawyers get involved, you should present all your arguments supported by detailed analysis. But if you believe you will end up in a legal proceeding of some kind, you may not want to show all your cards during the claim package stage.
These three considerations will help you determine both the tone of your claim package and the most effective approach for structuring your arguments. Knowing your audience, considering the potential strength of counter-arguments and anticipating the process that will be necessary to reach a settlement are valuable considerations when developing a successful claim package.
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