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Alternative Dispute Resolution ('ADR')
What Is ADR?
ADR covers a variety of methods that parties may adopt to resolve a dispute as an alternative to court litigation.
The most popular form of ADR is mediation but there are other forms as detailed below.
In our experience, there are few matters that are not capable of resolution by ADR and thereby avoiding the involvement of the court.
How Can We Help With Mediation?
The ADR team at Kangs Solicitors includes trained mediators.
We are happy to receive instructions from parties seeking a mediator to try and bring about a resolution to an ongoing dispute.
Our offices are suitably equipped to conduct mediations, with each party having a private room to discuss matters and take advice as well as a ‘joint’ room for opening statements and ongoing discussions between the parties.
In addition, as trained mediators, we are able to bring this knowledge and experience to benefit our own clients when instructed in relation to disputes on their behalf.
What Are The Advantages Of ADR?
Some of the main advantages of ADR are as follows:
- Cost – it is significantly more cost effective than pursuing traditional court-based litigation. The courts in England & Wales expect all parties to have engaged in ADR and have the power to make adverse costs orders against any party who refuses any reasonable request to participate in ADR.
- Time – disputes can be resolved much quickly than going to court
- Reduced Stress – parties tend to find the ADR process less stressful than a contested court hearing
- Business Relationships Maintained – business relationships are often maintained when a dispute is settled by way of an agreement reached using ADR as the process is more conciliatory in approach rather than the court process which is adversarial.
What Are The Main Forms Of ADR?
There is no formal restriction on the nature of ADR as the parties may engage in such procedure as they deem reasonable to bring the dispute to an early resolution.
The most common forms of ADR include:
Without Prejudice Negotiations
- Can be undertaken by telephone, correspondence or a round table meeting (with or without lawyers).
- Before formal mediation is attempted, it is often advisable to seek to resolve the dispute by way of correspondence or meetings on a ‘without prejudice’ basis.
- This allows the parties to discuss the issues more freely than otherwise would be the case in a formal arena.
- Our Dispute Resolution lawyers are experienced in leading such negotiations on behalf of clients.
- A mediator (a neutral third party) is appointed to assist the parties to reach an amicable and commercial resolution to the dispute.
- It is a voluntary process that the parties are free to engage in at any point, whether that is pre or post formal proceedings being issued.
- If the matter proceeds to a final hearing, the court can make an adverse costs order against a party who did not engage in mediation when it was reasonable to do so.
- Our ADR Lawyers are trained mediators and can conduct mediations (as a neutral third party) or alternatively can advise in relation to and attend mediations with our own clients.
- Even if resolution is not achieved at the mediation, the mediator will have assisted the parties to narrow down the points of dispute, thereby reducing future costs of the dispute.
- Arbitration takes place in the form of a hearing which is less formal than a court hearing.
- The hearing will be chaired by or presided over by an independent lawyer, retired Judge or another person with technical ability and experience to hear the particular type of dispute, such as an Adjudicator in construction industry disputes.
- The process is considerably quicker than the formal court process.
- The slight disadvantage is that the costs of such a hearing tend to be ‘front end loaded’.
- The decision of the arbitration hearing is recognised by the courts and amounts to a final determination of the dispute.
Determination By An Independent Expert
- If the nature of the dispute is likely to involve expert professional evidence, the parties can agree to jointly instruct an expert to provide an opinion on the dispute.
- The parties agree to be jointly bound by the decision of the expert.
- This option can result in considerable costs savings if issues are identified early and steps taken to jointly appoint an expert before matters escalate to protracted court proceedings.
Who Can I Contact For Help?
We are here to assist if you need either of the following:
- an independent mediator to be appointed to mediate in relation to an existing dispute
- a lawyer to assist you or your business with an ongoing or potential dispute.
We welcome new enquiries by telephone or email.
We are happy to provide an initial no obligation consultation at our offices in London, Birmingham or Manchester to explore the issues in your case and to provide an assessment of how we can assist you.
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020 7936 6396
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