Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is any procedure or combination of procedures entered into voluntarily by the parties to a dispute or disagreement. The courts now actively encourage parties to use ADR instead of litigation where this is appropriate.

The most common forms of ADR are:

  • Negotiation – the most common form of dispute resolution, where the parties themselves attempt to resolve the dispute
  • Mediation – a private and structured form of negotiation assisted by a third party that is initially non-binding. If settlement is reached it can become a legally binding contract
  • Conciliation – as mediation, but a conciliator can propose a solution
  • Neutral evaluation – a private and non-binding technique whereby a third party, usually legally qualified, gives an opinion on the likely outcome at trial as a basis for settlement discussions
  • Expert determination – a private process involving an independent expert with inquisitorial powers who gives a binding decision
  • Adjudication – an expert is instructed to rule on a technical issue – primarily used in construction disputes as set out in the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 where awards are binding on the parties at least on an interim basis – i.e. until a further process is invoked
  • Arbitration – a formal, private and binding process where the dispute is resolved by the decision of a nominated third party, the arbitrator or arbitrators.

Litigation is not the only solution and we also have considerable experience in all kinds of dispute resolution. In every case, we discuss with our clients ways in which this may assist to bring about an early resolution of the dispute.

If you would like to discuss alternative dispute resolution, please do not hesitate to speak with a member of our litigation team in Milton Keynes on 01908 202150, who will be happy to help you.