Alternative ways of resolving disputes

At a glance

  • ADR offers a range of methods, including mediation, arbitration and adjudication.
  • These are either used instead of litigation or as well as litigation.
  • Our business dispute lawyers have extensive experience of ADR and will advise on the best approach for you.

Here are the main ADR methods:

Mediation
This is a voluntary process in which a mediator (an independent third party) will help the parties reach a negotiated settlement. The process is confidential. Also, the process allows the parties to reach a solution that a court or arbitrator could not impose. Mediation often has the benefit of enabling the parties to maintain their business relationship. You can choose to mediate instead of going to court/arbitration, or you can have a mediation at any stage of the court/arbitration process.

Arbitration
Arbitration can offer significant benefits, including the ability to appoint an arbitrator with suitable expertise to deal with the dispute. This is especially useful if your dispute has a technical element. Arbitration is also private, so it helps keep your dispute out of the public domain.

Expert determination
Parties to a contract can agree to appoint an expert to determine the dispute. The expert’s decision is final. This is another useful approach for technical disputes. Expert determination is less flexible than mediation, but is generally quicker and cheaper than litigation or arbitration.

Adjudication
This is frequently used in construction disputes. It is a ‘pay now, argue later’ mechanism. It is designed to prevent one party coercing the other into an unfair settlement by withholding payment.

We have offices in London, Southampton, Lymington, Richmond, Woking and Guildford and offer specialist support and expert advice nationwide.

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