ADR is an efficient, and cost-effective method for unlocking and resolving a wide-range of commercial, and property disputes that would traditionally have resulted in court litigation. ADR encompasses the whole of our practice including contract law, company, commercial and civil disputes, intellectual property, competition & procurement, sale of goods, consumer rights, financial mis-selling, insurance, professional negligence, commercial property and construction.
Experience counts when you need a commercial strategy based on a knowledge of civil procedure. We can offer written opinions, meetings and telephone conferences. Our meeting rooms are located in Central London to facilitate forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution to help reach an effective and cost-efficient resolution to your case. If you would prefer, we can arrange a conference at your offices.
We can provide up to date guidance on the CPR if your client requires advocacy for an application or court hearing or assistance through mediation and preparation of statements of case and court documentation necessary for ADR processes. Our team has significant IT capabilities to enable e-disclosure, preparation of witness bundles using the latest in predictive coding to facilitate completion of directions and pre-action preparation.
Mediation is a procedure in which the parties discuss their disputes with the assistance of a trained impartial third person who assists them in reaching a settlement. It can take place in a dedicated meeting space or over Zoom. The parties sign a mediation agreement to commence the process. A bundle of documents is prepared for the mediator as well as written submissions from each party to assist the mediator. The mediator is not a judge, nor arbitrator and the parties can decide if they wish to settle the dispute and upon which terms. Once terms have been agreed a settlement agreement is entered into and signed. This enables the settlement to be enforceable through the contract.
Adjudication involves an independent third party considering the claims of both sides and making a decision. In practice relatively few adjudicated decisions are subsequently referred to litigation or arbitration, and most are accepted as final by the parties. Adjudication has been a method of dispute resolution used in the UK construction industry for many years. In certain circumstances there is a statutory right to adjudicate (the UK Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996) whereby any party to a construction contract (as defined in the 1996 Act) has a right to have any dispute decided at any time by an adjudicator. Adjudication is a quick process and under the statutory adjudication provisions the adjudicator has 28 days from appointment to reach a decision. The decision can be enforced by summary judgment through the courts.
Arbitration is a private system of dispute resolution which requires an agreement to arbitrate by the parties and provides for the fair resolution of disputes by an impartial tribunal. Arbitration enables the parties relative autonomy to agree the procedure by which they resolve their dispute although they often adopt the rules of procedure of an international arbitration institution. It is confidential but follows a similar process to a court hearing and delivers an enforceable award which is final and binding, typically with very limited rights of appeal.
Expert determination is a form of alternative dispute resolution whereby the parties to a contract ask an independent expert to give a binding decision on a dispute. Expert determination clauses operate wholly on a contractual basis. If the parties agree to be bound by the expert's decision it is very difficult to challenge it; there is no appeal route as in the court system and fewer grounds of appeal than in arbitration. This greater certainty in the finality of the outcome, and the advantages in terms of cost and speed, is one of the most attractive features of expert determination.
Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution: www.CEDR.com
The academy of experts: www.academyofexperts.org
Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb): http://www.ciarb.org/dispute-appointment-services/adjudication
Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS): http://www.rics.org/Global/Toolkit%20Adjudication.pdf)