Alternative Dispute Resolution
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is a term used to describe a variety of methods for resolving disputes other than litigation.
ADR is a popular way to resolve business disputes and is often preferred to litigation because of its speed, flexibility and ability to deliver cost effective confidential results which can often preserve valuable business relationships.
There are a number of different types of alternative dispute resolution; some involves third parties such as mediation and arbitration whereas others, for example negotiation, do not. Some forms of ADR may be binding, such as expert determination, whilst conciliation and early neutral evaluation are not. An incorrect choice can easily hamper your prospects of a quick resolution and run up wasted costs as you find yourself following an inappropriate procedure.
Dispute resolution clauses in contracts are an increasingly popular provision which are used to agree what will happen in the event of a dispute arising once the contract is in place.
Common examples are arbitration agreements and dispute escalation clauses which require parties to try to resolve disputes at a pre-determined number of internal levels before either referring them to mediation and then arbitration/litigation.
As you will be bound by the choices you make in the contract it is vital that you understand properly the implications of choosing ADR, as well as the how it might work in practice. At SA Law our team of lawyers are experienced negotiators who can guide you through the maze of different ADR options and rules to ensure you get a solution which will work for you.
After a Dispute Has Arisen
The courts encourage the use of ADR and will penalise unreasonable refusals to mediate especially if there is a binding ADR provision.
It is essential to pick the method of ADR which is best suited to your dispute to ensure that it has the best chance of delivering a quick and economic outcome. Our lawyers have dealt with the resolution of many claims of all sizes by way of both negotiation and mediation and are well placed to advise on how, as well as when, to engage in these (and other) options so that such sanctions can be avoided.
At SA Law our team of experienced litigation solicitors can advise you on which method of ADR is best for you, taking into account your business objective and the type of dispute. To discuss how ADR could help you to resolve a business dispute call Robert Ryall or Tracy Lacey-Smith on 01727 798092 .