Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) refers to ways of resolving disputes without going to court. They usually involve the use of a neutral third party and can help find a creative solution to resolve an issue or decide it speedily. Even before COVID-19 this had become an important alternative to litigation in recent years, with a number of advantages.
Why choose ADR
In our experience, when conducted skilfully ADR:
• Saves time
• Costs less than going to court
• Takes into account the parties' needs
• Is a flexible process
All these things have become the more important in the present circumstances. Courts and other tribunals, and decision-makers such as planning inspectors, are either not operating at all or doing so only to a limited extent. When they do fully re-open they will have a large backlog of work.
Nonetheless, decisions and case resolution remain necessary. Furthermore, in times of uncertainty conflicts can escalate. ADR can provide an efficient resolution or determination of matters - or alternatively a narrowing of the issues - without delays.
The two most common forms of ADR are:
- MEDIATION - where an independent third party helps the disputing parties to come to a mutually acceptable outcome.
- ARBITRATION - where an independent third party considers the legal position and the evidence , and takes a decision that is binding on the parties.
Parties can also agree by a contract between them to submit a legal dispute to an independent lawyer for a binding decision on the papers (in the same way that a barrister would usually provide an Opinion in a case, but with both parties instructing them as an independent adjudicator and with the determination being binding by agreement). This can be done in relation to a whole case or a distinct issue.
There is generally no difficulty in seeking to resolve – or narrow - a dispute by means of ADR while also pursuing more traditional courses, such as court action, statutory appeals, or anything else. In many cases, ADR is actively promoted (and even required) as part of the litigation process.
ADR can in appropriate cases also provide bespoke remedies not available via litigation. It can also be confidential where appropriate.
The ADR Cornerstone Team
Our ADR team offers a range of alternative dispute resolution expertise which provides real alternatives to, or compliments, the conventional court process.
We have accredited mediators, qualified arbitrators, and barristers who use their background as successful civil practitioners to find a solution to each of the parties' needs or to determine matters in issue.
We can offer ADR as a way of solving legal disputes across all areas of practice:
- Health and Social Care
All our members are practical, efficient and friendly. We can offer advice as to when ADR may be appropriate or not, what manner of ADR may best suit your particular circumstances. We can also provide representation for parties engaging in ADR of whatever type.
To know more about our ADR service, members of the team or any other enquiry, please contact Senior Clerk Elliot Langdorf firstname.lastname@example.org.