Although traditionally it’s court litigation and arbitration that are used to resolve commercial disputes, there are some really useful alternative dispute resolution options that can be used either before starting litigation or arbitration, or once that formal process has begun.
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) can be particularly helpful when it’s engaged with at an early stage and although it’s not appropriate in all cases, it can help to avoid the time and cost of litigating or arbitrating altogether.
We’re committed to avoiding disputes and we work with all our clients to ensure their businesses manage risk and disputes as efficiently and economically as possible. We strive to understand our clients’ businesses and the issues they face, so that when disputes do arise, we can come up with clear strategies for managing the dispute and find a resolution to their problems – no matter how large or small. We always consider what success will look like for our clients, taking their means and expectations into account to make sure the end result will contribute to their business goals.
We know that careful thought and drafting of contracts using specialist advisers can save time and money in the long run, but this is often overlooked and people tend not to give too much thought to what would happen in the event of a dispute. In our experience, dispute resolution and governing law clauses tend to be an afterthought as organisations focus on getting the deal done.
Our clients know that we always start by weighing up the pros and cons of the different methods of dispute resolution, based on their situation and the nature of their dispute. We’ll help you to think about the best way to negotiate and draft your contracts, so that in the right circumstances you can avoid a dispute altogether.
Our lawyers are disputes specialists and have a great deal of experience of resolving contract and commercial disputes covering a wide spectrum of specialisms. These are just a few examples of the type of work we do:
Mediation is probably the most well-known form of ADR. It’s a voluntary confidential process, in which a third party acts as mediator to explore whether a resolution can be achieved by negotiation.
Although the mediation will not decide the dispute – it will help both sides to explore whether an acceptable agreement can be reached.
Our lawyers are experienced at physical and virtual mediations, and can help clients to develop appropriate strategies for mediation so that they can achieve the best outcome.
Adjudication is a procedure for resolving disputes in a quick and cost effective manner. Adjudication is compulsory in the construction industry, but parties can also agree to use adjudication to resolve disputes in other industries.
Our lawyers use adjudication to resolve issues so that payments can be received swiftly and without having to resort to lengthy and costly litigation or arbitration.
Expert determination can also be a valuable tool, with both parties appointing an expert in the relevant specialist field to reach a binding decision on an issue which is often of a technical or legal nature. Although it’s not suitable in every case, expert determination offers flexibility, finality and a cheaper and faster commercial alternative to the more traditional dispute resolution options.