Head of Chambers
Here at Strand Chambers we recognise the benefits of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and that some disputes are best resolved outside court. ADR allows parties to settle their disputes out of court in the knowledge that those settlements can also be legally binding.
Strand Chambers has a group of barristers who can negotiate, mediate or arbitrate cases across a range of specialist areas including:
ADR can offer clients many advantages and can be engaged in at all stages in a claim. In some cases ADR may be compulsory and it is important to consider whether ADR should be used in your case. For more information about ADR please see our FAQs below.
For further information about ADR and our fees, please contact us by using the form below, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 020 7117 6920.
Negotiation involves parties discussing the issues of their dispute, with the aim of reaching an agreed settlement. Parties are free to draw up their terms. The resolution of their disputes is completely up to them, and there is no independent decision maker. Often, civil, contract, property and commercial cases are suitable for negotiation. Negotiation is suitable during the initial formation of agreements as well as for disputes arising from existing agreements.
Mediation is the facilitation of discussions and negotiations between parties. A mediator is an impartial enabler between parties, with the aim of encouraging an agreement. Mediators do not make decisions on a case or comment on its merits. Mediation is therefore not legally binding. Mediation is often suitable for family and civil cases. The reasons include that a mediator can have a distilling and accommodating presence between parties. This allows parties to engage better, especially where there has been a breakdown in relationships.
Arbitration involves discussions and representations made by parties in relation to their disputes before an impartial arbitrator. Unlike a mediator, an arbitrator makes a legally binding decision on the dispute. Arbitrations, unlike most court hearings, are in private. A difference between a judge and arbitrator is that arbitrators need not decide disputes on a purely legal basis, but can regard wider factors, such as commercial awareness and technical knowledge. Arbitration is subject to the Arbitration Act 1996, and in some cases, decisions of arbitrators are appealable or reviewable to the courts. Arbitration is particularly suited for commercial, technical contractual disputes, which require more industry-friendly decision making which also considers long term factors. Arbitration is often suitable and may be contractually obligatory for employment cases, as the adjudication of such disputes can require a more in-depth understanding of a working environment.
ADR allows parties greater flexibility in defining their cases. Parties choose the issues and the terms of references. ADR allows disputes to raise issues that go beyond black letter law.
ADR can be significantly cheaper than going to court. Parties are free to manage costs throughout the process.
A court case can be long, and stressful. ADR can lead to a rapid and simpler solution to disputes, that is both full and final.
Parties can choose when and where their dispute is heard. ADR runs outside the court timetable, so parties can manage their disputes according to their schedules.
ADR allows parties to be creative in their solutions. A wider scope of outcomes is available and parties are free to agree on what the remedies are including remedies that go beyond what parties are legally entitled to.
ADR can cater to business clients who want disputes to be decided with a great focus commercial awareness. Parties may feel that the more legalistic approach that is seen at court, may limit the chances of more business-friendly outcomes, especially where parties are seeking to preserve a business relationship.
Court disputes can often lead to permanent or long-standing breakdowns of relationships. ADR can lead to solutions that are amicable, and mutually beneficial for parties. This is essential in maintaining long-term relationships and interests.
ADR can be completely confidential. This is a great advantage for parties wishing to keep their matters private, as generally, court proceedings are public.
In some cases, ADR is obligatory. It is crucial for you to check. Many employment contracts have compulsory ADR clauses. ADR is regularly an obligation in commercial contracts, particularly in the form of arbitration. ADR, in the form of mediation, namely attending MIAMS (Mediation Information & Assessment Meetings) is also a legal requirement in family law disputes.
The key feature of ADR is its flexibility. ADR is open to anyone as soon as they want to proceed with a dispute. ADR can be used before a claim and during a claim, before going to court & even during it. Courts are often happy to stay or adjourn on-going cases in order to facilitate ADR.