Resolving disputes without Court
Alternative Dispute Resolution “ADR” is a process where parties come together to discuss a dispute with a view to reaching an agreement without the need for Court action.
If a matter is already in Court you should still utilise and consider ADR at each stage of the litigation process.
There are a number of different types of ADR available:
- Expert determination
- Early neutral evaluation mediation.
Things to consider
- For ADR to have a chance of success you must be willing to reach a compromise on the dispute;
- ADR can only proceed if both parties consent. It is a voluntary process;
- ADR may be a more cost-effective solution for reaching a settlement because parties can share the costs of the process;
- ADR is a good way of keeping matters confidential. With Court action, matters can become part of the public domain;
- You remain in control of your matter and can decide what to offer or whether to accept or reject proposals;
- You still retain the option of Court action in the event that settlement is not reached. Also, matters discussed during the process remain without prejudice;
- You’re in control of the arrangements for a meeting of the parties.
Support and guidance with Mediation
Mediation is a popular form of Alternative Dispute Resolution. A wide range of disputes can be dealt with under this process whereas, for example, arbitration is generally used in technical disputes. Mediation is a process where the parties agree to appoint a mediator, who is a neutral individual, to help them negotiate and resolve their dispute in a way which is acceptable to all the parties.
The mediator will hold a variety of both joint and private meetings with the parties. These meetings clarify the issues, challenge the parties and help them to test the strength of their cases. Additionally, it helps them find common ground and discuss settlement. It is an excellent way to fully establish each party’s case and see how far apart the parties are on any potential settlement.
Even if you cannot achieve a settlement on the day the lines of communication are open and can further be explored after the process. It is not unusual for a case to settle in the following days or weeks after the mediation when the parties have had a chance to reflect on what happened on the day. Kidwells have lawyers to act as an appointed mediator or provide advice, support and representation at mediation.
If you are thinking that ADR might be appropriate for your dispute, please get in touch with our lawyers to discuss further.