July 1, 2019
Do a simple online search on ‘how to resolve a commercial dispute’ and, there’s no doubt, you’ll come across alternative dispute resolution (ADR). This has become an increasingly popular option with commercial clients. Not only does it help to avoid court proceedings, but it’s also extremely cost-effective and – in most cases – it leads to a successful and amicable agreement.
But what is it?
Essentially, ADR refers to a range of methods used to resolve a dispute, without involving a court of law. There are many approaches which fall under this category – but, here, we outline the main three alternative dispute resolution techniques and when they should be used.
This is a voluntary ADR technique, whereby a neutral third-party (e.g. a solicitor) mediates a discussion between the opposing sides. There’s no set procedure. However, the mediator will usually start by allowing each party to present their case in a frank and open manner. They will then shuttle between parties, identifying common ground and – ultimately – helping you to reach a solution.
Mediation promotes a civil and conducive atmosphere. Agreements can be made diplomatically and, as a result, it’s a good option if you wish to preserve your business relationships. Some clients even use the opportunity to discuss and secure an on-going or future business deal with the other party.
Just as the name suggests, adjudication involves selecting an adjudicator to resolve the issue on your behalf. This person will usually have in-depth knowledge or strong skills in the topic of the dispute. They will be presented with each party’s case – including any supporting documents – and given around 28 days to make a decision.
Adjudication is an effective ADR method for all types of commercial dispute. It’s often used as a speedy ‘interim’ technique. By sorting out your current issues, it allows you to get on with the project at hand – but the decision isn’t legally binding and, if you wish, it can still be challenged in court at a later date.
Arbitration is very similar to adjudication. Once again, an independent expert is appointed to resolve the dispute. They’re given both sides of the argument and asked to make a fair, impartial decision. However, this time, their decision is legally binding and cannot be contested in a court of law.
This is an excellent ADR technique for those who want a judicial-style decision, without having to start litigation. You can select an arbitrator with relevant expertise on the issue, control costs – by setting a compensation-limit with the opponent – and reach a final and certain decision that has no grounds for appeal.
Alternative dispute resolution at Prosperity Law
When it comes to commercial dispute resolution, here at Prosperity Law, we strive to use ADR techniques as much as possible. In most cases, we find that clients just need a neutral environment in which to discuss their issues with the opponent. A cordial exchange of information is sometimes all it takes to settle your differences and come to an agreement that suits everyone involved.
Our commercial law solicitors are trained in a range of alternative dispute resolution methods and can advise on the best one for you and your case. So why not get in touch today? Either give us a call on 0161 667 3686 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and find out more about this effective approach.