Category: Mediation

Unexplained wealth order

High Court issues costs penalty for failure to resolve issues with ADR

This latest High Court case again demonstrates the pitfalls for litigants who unreasonably refuse to engage in Alternative Dispute Resolution such as mediation to resolve issues. Parties that fail to do so risk be punished by the court when it comes to costs.

lawyer conference room litigation adr mediation

Alternative Dispute Resolution: Mediation v Arbitration

Mediation and arbitration are alternatives to litigation. Mediation is “without prejudice” commercial negotiation to settle a dispute. Arbitration is a private court hearing where parties agree to be bound by the decision of the arbitrator. Both forms of ADR have their pros and cons, and the most effective method depends on the parties themselves and the nature of the dispute.

Unexplained wealth order

High Court: Costs penalties for a failure to engage in mediation

If a party completely foregoes mediation will that party be punished in costs? The High Court judgment highlights that although the court cannot compel parties to mediate, an unreasonable refusal to do so is likely to result in costs penalties for a defaulting party. The costs risks of unreasonably refusing to mediate or not responding to a mediation proposal may be severe.

failure to mediate costs

The Cost of an Unreasonable Refusal to Mediate

All solicitors have a duty to advise their clients about alternative dispute resolution (ADR), including mediation. Along with the ADR requirements in the pre-action protocols, the CPR and court schemes, overall, mediation is an option that must be considered by parties both before and during litigation (and a failure to do so can lead to costs penalties).