Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?

Alternative Dispute Resolution is a means of resolving disputes by using an independent third party, rather than taking the matter to court. This independent party will help parties resolve their issues; however they cannot impose a solution. The idea is that ADR is voluntary and either party is able to withdraw at any time. The proposed solution does not have to be accepted.

Using Alternative Dispute Resolution

The parties are free to choose the form of ADR they feel would be most appropriate to their circumstances. This decision may have been made prior to the dispute and the relevant clause will be contained within a contract made between the parties in case of a dispute arising. If this is not the case, the parties can reach an agreement on the best form to use at the time of dispute. A solicitor will always recommend the best forms of ADR to a client if it is relevant to the case. It is also the courts’ obligation to encourage ADR between the parties if appropriate. There are two main organizations that provide ADR; the Centre for Dispute Resolution (CEDR), which is an independent non-profit making organization, and The ADR group, which is a private company that also undertakes mediation. The Chartered Institution of Arbitrators, The Academy of Experts and Mediation UK are also available to provide ADR services.

Types of Alternative Dispute Resolution

Mediation

Mediation is relevant in both a business capacity as well as in personal disputes. The appointed mediator will receive a written statement from both parties and will discuss the case with them to understand their perspective on the issue(s). The mediator will then identify the real areas of disagreement and focus on the important issues that need resolving. His role is to tell the parties his view point without prejudice and try to find a constructive solution to the problem; however this solution is not binding on the parties.

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For more information on:

  • Mediation-Arbitration
  • Mini-trial or structured settlement procedure
  • Expert and Judicial Appraisal
  • Ombudsman