It is much more cost effective to resolve a dispute before it even reaches the courts and before your cost liability increases. Taking court action can be lengthy, stressful and costly, so it should be your last resort.
Dispute resolution processes are alternative ways of resolving a dispute without taking the dispute to the courts. It is commonly known as Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
Many disputes can be resolved without having to go to court. There are many different ADR options to consider and we can advise you on the best fit for you:
Mediation usually involves a mediator inviting all parties to a neutral environment and encouraging both to discuss each of their concerns to each other. The mediator helps each other see both sides and come to a mutual agreement, this usually leaves both parties well satisfied with the outcome.
Arbitration is the most formal method of ADR. An arbitrator is appointed and both parties must agree that this arbitrator is sufficient. Arbitrators are usually used for large commercial disputes and it is sometimes built into a contract. Both sides will show evidence and the arbitrator makes a decision. This decision is legally binding. There are various arbitration tribunals which may be appropriate for your case.
Negotiation does not necessarily require face to face contact, and can be done via a phone call or a letter and both parties will negotiate an agreement. Alternatively it can be done in person at a “round-table meeting” where each party and their solicitor will be given an equal right to participate until they negotiate an agreement. This is the least formal method out of the three.
Part 36 Offer
A Part 36 offer is a financial offer made by either the Claimant or the Defendant to resolve the case. It can be a strategic step in litigation and making one, or receiving one, should be considered very carefully and it is important to receive the right advice. Not accepting a Part 36 offer can have cost consequences at the end of a case.
If unable to solve a dispute through ADR, you can then take court action. The Court will however take note of any attempts to use ADR and if any party unreasonably refuses to engage with ADR.