Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) refers to any means of resolving a dispute without involving a court or a tribunal. We have extensive experience in dealing with ADR. Cormac Cawley is a qualified Mediator as well as being an experienced litigation solicitor. We have acted in many cases where costs have been saved by using ADR.
If you are entering into an agreement now you should make sure it contains a clause which provides for ADR as that can save you money later in if any disputes arise from the agreement. We can assist you in reviewing any draft contract before you sign.
Taking a case to the High Court or County Court involves a lot of legal costs and wasted time on each side. The total costs which the parties might spend invariably exceeds or is double the amount which is in dispute. At the end of the case the court usually decides who wins, which can leave the loser disappointed and facing a huge bill for the legal costs. It therefore makes sense to try to resolve any dispute by avoiding going to court or tribunal proceedings and each giving ground to reach a settlement.
Alternative Dispute Resolution Lawyers Middlesex
Our law encourages parties to disputes to avoid using the courts and tribunal system so as to put less pressure on the public purse and allow the courts to devote their resources to the cases which cannot be resolved by agreement.
The courts also expect parties to be able to show that they tried ADR. If a party refuses to consider ADR the courts can penalise that party by making them pay all of part of their opponents costs even if the refusing party ultimately wins.
“Direct Negotiation” is the most common form of ADR. This involves the parties or their lawyers having a meeting or discussion which is “Without Prejudice”, which means any court which may ultimately have to decide the dispute does not know about the negotiations. In some cases parties make offers which are “Without Prejudice Save as to Costs”, which means the offer can be produced to the court once the case is determined and the court is deciding who the true winner is and who should pay the legal costs. The parties can also make offers pursuant to Part 36 of the Civil Procedure Rules, which can result in a party who beats any offer receiving 10% more in damages and 10% interest on any legal costs which the court directs their opponent to pay to them.
“Mediation” is a process where the parties pay for an independent expert to act as honest broker to encourage the parties to reach an agreement. Each side gets to explain to the mediator in confidence their version of events and the mediator explores options for reaching a deal. If a deal is reached a legally binding agreement is signed and that is the end of the dispute.
“Independent Expert Evaluation” involves the parties paying for an independent expert to offer an evaluation of the chances of success.
Arbitration is a slightly more formal process. Click here to learn more about how our arbitration solicitors can help you.
Contact our alternative dispute resolution lawyers in Ruislip, Middlesex today