Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is the collective term given to several methods of dealing with disputes without going to court. ADR procedures are voluntary and confidential and can provide a quicker, more practical and less formal approach to court proceedings, at a more affordable cost.
There are two predominant forms of ADR for businesses to consider –
- Arbitration: Performed by an independent third party who is like to be legally qualified or a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. The Arbitrators’ decision is legally binding and the conduct for Arbitration is set out in the Arbitration Act 1996. It is usually used for the more serious disputes involving major corporations, employment rights and consumer issues.
- Mediation: A neutral third party familiar with the industry sector is mutually agreed by both parties to assist with negotiations between the parties to reach a compromise and deliver something of value to both sides. The parties are not obligated to accept any decisions and can stop the process at any time. When negotiations are successful their signatures to an agreement makes the agreed outcome legally binding. If the negotiations are not successful, or only partially successful; then the parties can seek to settle these matters via arbitration or litigation.
We work with a selection of consultant solicitors and barristers with a wealth of experience in ADR procedures.