Our multi-disciplinary practice is made up of specialist lawyers that have market-leading experience in handling multi-million pound litigation cases and bringing complex claims to settlement through alternative forms of dispute resolution (“ADR”), where necessary.
Our expert litigation and team advise our clients as to the different forms of resolving their disputes, which can often be faster and less costly. These include:
- Executive Tribunals
- Early Neutral Evaluation
- Expert Determination
- Dispute Review Board
This usually involves a without prejudice discussion between parties, to attempt to reach an out-of-court settlement. In the instance that a negotiation does not succeed, without prejudice discussions prevent either party from using what is said during the negotiation as evidence at court.
Importantly, this does not require third party assistance and as such is very flexible and can save parties significant costs. Similarly, if a settlement cannot be made, they are able bring the negotiation to an end at any time.
This is usually a contractual agreement between parties whereby the parties present their best cases to an independent arbitrator. The arbitrator, acts in a judicial fashion as makes a legally binding award, to finalise the dispute.
As this is private form of ADR, parties have a duty of confidentiality and therefore awards are not publicly available.
Comparatively, mediation makes use of a neutral third party to find an agreement between parties, utilising their expertise. The mediator importantly does not form a decision on the case, they are there simply to facilitate an agreement.
As mediation is a non-binding form of ADR, both parties retain control as to whether they agree to settle or not. This may be of benefit if the parties want to maintain commercial relationships.
This is a hybrid form of ADR, between mediation and arbitration, that may be used where a mediation is not successful. Where the parties to mediation fail to agree a settlement, the mediator may become an arbitrator and issue a final and binding decision on the case.
As this form of ADR provides a legally binding decision, it can save costs as prevents the need for court proceedings.
Otherwise known as a min-trial, an executive trial comprises of both parties presenting their best case to a panel. The panel is made up of senior executives from either party and an independent chairperson, who after hearing either sides best case, attempt to resolve the matter.
This is a faster process than litigation and whilst it does not provide a legally binding decision, it can if both parties request it.
This is very similar to mediation, however in this instance the conciliator actively assists the parties to settle the dispute. At some point during this process the conciliator will provide the parties with a non-binding proposal.
Early Neutral Evaluation
Similar to mediation, a third party is instructed by the parties to assess the facts of their case and provide a non-binding opinion on either the case as a whole, or part of it.
This can be beneficial prior to negotiation, as it raises the salient issues, which can then be negotiated without the need for a third party.
If you are party to a contractual dispute, an adjudicator can provide a decision on it, as and when it arises. This effectively provides the parties disputing the contract, with a binding decision pending agreement of the parties altering its effect.
This procedure lasts 28 days and generally avoids the need for further litigation, limiting disruption and cash flow problems which may otherwise ensue.
In this instance an expert is appointed to provide a legally binding decision, usually on a complex technical issue. Importantly, the expert’s decision is an evaluation and as such has different legal characteristics to an arbitrators award.
Again, this provides a faster and less costly legally binding decision and is less formal than arbitration or litigation.
Dispute Review Board
A dispute review board usually form during large-scale construction projects. A panel, which usually consists of three neutral parties, attend recurrent meetings and provide interim binding decisions in order to maintain fluidity in these projects.
This can prevent disputes arising, encouraging cooperation between parties, creating a culture of claim-avoidance.
Why you should consider ADR
Time – Whilst pursuing litigation can take months or years, most forms of ADR can be undertaken within a few days. This can pose a significant saving of time for your case.
Costs – Similarly, due to the time savings, most matters can be resolved efficiently saving both sides significant costs.
Control – With ADR the parties have control over how they proceed with their matter, as they can decide which form best suits their interests. For example, whether or not they want the decision to be legally binding.
Confidentiality – The aforementioned procedures are usually conducted confidentially, which enables full and frank negotiations.
Business Relationships – Pursuing ADR as a form of reaching a settlement increases the likelihood of maintaining relationships, as settlements are reached with consent of both parties.
Requirement – Parties in contentious disputes are required by the Courts to attempt ADR and may make adverse costs orders against parties which refuse.
Book an Initial Consultation with Our Expert Litigation Lawyers
Our specialist lawyers have a proven record of successfully using various forms of alternative dispute resolution, in order to successfully resolve disputes in a cost-effective manner for our clients.
To contact us about your case please call us on: 02071830529