Alternative Dispute Resolution

The majority of disputes are now resolved before a full trial. The reason for this is the introduction of the Civil Procedure Rules and the emergence and popularity of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). At Spratt Endicott we recognise the advantages of seeking a quick settlement and reducing costs through one of the ADR methods.

The principle forms of alternative dispute resolution are:

Mediation

The process involves the instruction of an independent trained mediator who will facilitate a discussion between the parties with a view to try and reach an agreement. Any discussions between the parties within the context of mediation are confidential and without prejudice, which means they cannot be referred to in any subsequent Court proceedings. The process is not binding, unless and until a settlement agreement is signed. The advantage of mediation is that it is cheaper, faster and more flexible than Court proceedings. As the process is consensual and its aim is to reach a compromise, mediation can assist in preserving business relationships.

Arbitration

An independent third party considers the arguments put forward by each party and reaches a legally binding position. This is a private process and particularly suitable if you wish to keep the dispute confidential. The process can be less formal and sometimes more flexible than Court proceedings.

Adjudication

Similar to arbitration in that an independent third party adjudicates the outcome. This may be less formal than Court proceedings and is more suited to technical disputes.

Early Neutral Evaluation

An expert in the relevant field is invited to hear each party's case and give an opinion on the likely outcome or even on a particular point of law. The opinion is not legally binding, but can encourage the parties to re-evaluate their position.

Expert determination

An independent expert chosen by the parties will consider the claim with a view to reaching a binding decision. Often better for difficult technical issues in complex cases.

Spratt Endicott has experience of all forms of ADR and will use these procedures where appropriate to bring your dispute to a quick and cost effective conclusion.

Getting in touch

For more information on alternative dispute resolution, please contact David Whiting at our Banbury office on 01295 204105, or email dwhiting@se-law.co.uk.

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