When it comes to dispute resolution, the best way to solve an issue is outside of the court in order to avoid lengthy, stressful, and expensive proceedings.
Depending on the issue, there are different methods of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that can work. Below we will break down these six different methods of ADR and how they work.
This method is a popular choice for those going through commercial disputes, in particular contract disputes. This is because while entering a contractual agreement, many companies now have it in their policy that any disputes will be resolved using a third party adjudicator.
During this process, an adjudicator is appointed and will listen to both sides’ points of view. They will then convene a hearing and will make a decision on the outcome within 28 days. This is a very quick method of ADR and is, therefore, an attractive option for those looking to solve issues quickly.
2. Early Neutral Evaluation
If both parties agree to solve the issue quickly, early neutral evaluation usually takes place. This is where a neutral third party will provide their expert opinion on the likely outcome if proceedings commence. This can help those involved decide whether it is worth spending time and money on the case.
During arbitration, an arbitrator who is a specialist in the area of the dispute (e.g. divorce, family law) will handle the case and make a decision that is legally binding, meaning that the conclusion cannot be disputed or taken further to court.
This is the most simple and cost-effective method of alternative dispute resolution. Both parties, with the assistance of their legal advisors, resolve the issue through a meeting or written correspondence. Statements made during this process cannot be used against either party if the case proceeds to court.
This is very similar to negotiation, however, the difference is that during mediation, a third-party mediator is appointed. This person can either be a lawyer or a specialist in the area of the dispute. Mediation typically costs a few thousand pounds, the cost of which is split between parties involved (unless, in some rare instances, one party agrees to cover the entire cost). This is the most popular form of ADR and is most favoured by the courts to show that you have attempted to resolve the issue before taking it further.
6. Expert Determination
During expert determination, both parties agree to be legally bound by the decision of an expert. Unless the parties involved specifically decline, the third party can conduct investigations into the issue, the results of which can be brought to those involved for an explanation. This is especially useful for those who may need to simply get on with the case and bring all the facts to the table in comparison to arbitration, whereby the arbitrator is limited in the information they can investigate.
When it comes to ADR, different methods will work better for different people and cases. Experts in the field can help you to decide which path is the best for you and the dispute, advising on a case-by-case basis and helping you to save time and money where possible.