We are experts in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and are well placed to recommend the best process to suit our clients’ particular needs. We advise on the most appropriate way to resolve disputes effectively. As litigation can be expensive, we recognise that our clients need to limit their expenditure and we actively use mediation, arbitration and adjudication where suitable. ADR is often preferred by clients, as it can be both cheaper and quicker than contested court hearings. One of our partners is a CEDR accredited mediator.
We regularly advise our clients to seek to resolve their disputes by mediation, which is an attempt to settle through the active participation of a mediator, a neutral third party. The mediator works to find points of agreement and seeks to resolve areas of conflict, in order to reach a settlement acceptable to all parties. A settlement agreement is then prepared which is enforceable by law.
An alternative to mediation is negotiation where the parties manage the attempt to settle a claim without an independent third party. The parties decide whether negotiations will be conducted by exchange of written correspondence, over the telephone or by face-to-face meetings. The process is flexible and less expensive than mediation, particularly because the cost of a mediator is avoided.
There are alternatives to mediation and negotiation which may be cost effective and, where appropriate, it may be suitable to resolve a dispute by way of early neutral evaluation of the parties’ positions or by referring the dispute to adjudication. Where a matter is referred to early neutral evaluation, a neutral person with specialist knowledge and skills is asked to evaluate the case or any particular issues in it. This results in a non-binding decision. An independent view of the matter or issues in dispute can clear the way for more constructive negotiations to take place. As for adjudication, the dispute will be considered by an expert from the relevant industry area of practice and will lead to a binding decision.
We have an extensive knowledge and experience of arbitration and will guide our clients through the process where, for example, contractual agreements require disputes to be resolved by way of arbitration.
We are experts in all forms of ADR and regularly guide clients through the most suitable and cost effective approach to be taken.