Court isn’t the only way to resolve a dispute! Some alternatives…
As the costs and pressures of litigation increase clients are looking for more cost effective ways to resolve disputes.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) has become increasingly popular over the past few years with both commercial and private clients as it enables parties as it is usually cheaper and quicker than going to court.
At Gregg Latchams we are experienced in all forms of ADR including negotiations, mediation and arbitration. We discuss possible ADR options with you at the outset of your matter to determine which would best suit your needs and is most likely to resolve your dispute.
For the uninitiated, a brief summary of each is set out below:
This is the most flexible and informal way to resolve a dispute. We’re experienced in assisting our clients to negotiate settlements to resolve both commercial and private disputes. The entire process is usually private, confidential and without prejudice to enable reputations and relationships to remain intact where possible.
Mediation is the process whereby the parties appoint a neutral third party mediator to explore the options for a resolution with them and assist them to reach an agreement. This is a voluntary and private form of dispute resolution that allows the parties to retain control of the decision on whether or not to settle and on what terms. Mediations are infinitely flexible, providing solutions, which are not available in court.
Our Dispute Resolution team are experienced in assisting clients to prepare and arrange a mediation as well as representing them at the appointment if required.
This is where an expert is jointly appointed by the parties to determine an issue and the parties agree to be bound by the decision. This is an informal process that will produce a binding decision and is usually suitable to determine technical issues. There is also Expert Appraisal which works in the same way, however the decision is not binding.
We can assist in instructing the expert and making sure that they understand our client’s position and have all of the information they need to make an informed decision.
Arbitration is a private forum in which an independent arbitrator reviews the issues presented by the parties and makes an award to finalise the dispute. The outcome is then binding on all parties. All parties must agree to submit the dispute to arbitration and usually there is a contractual clause which states that certain disputes should be resolved through arbitration instead of litigation. The process is usually cheaper and quicker than litigation and the arbitrator can be selected by the parties. We can assist parties preparing for an arbitration and represent parties throughout the process.
Neutral Fact Finder
In complex cases, a third party can be appointed to help identify common grounds and points of difference. This is often used before a mediation to help you identify possible outcomes.
Med-Arb (a hybrid process)
This is where mediation is combined with arbitration to resolve a dispute. Parties agree to appoint an adjudicator to mediate the dispute but if a settlement is not reached, they return to their role as an arbitrator to determine the issue.
Arb-Med (a hybrid process)
This is a simplified arbitration which results in a decision which remains sealed. A mediation follows immediately. If the mediation fails to produce an agreed settlement, the decision is opened and becomes binding.