Experienced Solicitors who Understand your Needs



Not every dispute warrants the initiation of legal proceedings. In fact, in some cases, litigation can actually be counterproductive to your interests while also being costly, stressful and time-consuming.

In certain circumstances, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) may be an effective tool for resolving a dispute and can work as a stand alone procedure or alongside the litigation process.

 

Business People

ADR is becoming increasingly popular as resolution outside of court can be more timely and often far more cost-effective than litigation. And even ‘successful’ litigation does not guarantee the outcome you desire.

The Courts encourage the use of ADR and may even penalise parties on costs if ADR has not been considered in certain circumstances.

A Multi-Faceted ADR Approach

Our team of dispute resolution solicitors is highly experienced in litigation but are equally able to resolve matters through ADR.

However, there are numerous methods available and ADR is not a one-size-fits-all solution. At Wellers, we can help you find the ADR process that is most suitable to your interests and circumstances, whether you are seeking commercial dispute resolution, financial dispute resolution, construction dispute resolution, or, in fact, any type of dispute.

Methods include:

  • Mediation – a process by which an independent third party, a mediator, is appointed to assist and facilitate resolution. The mediator is a specially trained professional who is jointly appointed by the parties. The mediator is not a judge and cannot make a decision on your case but will attempt to broker a settlement between the parties. Mediation can be used prior to or in parallel with the litigation process. It can be a relatively cheap and quick way to settle disputes provided that all parties are willing to engage in mediation in a spirit of compromise to achieve a settlement.
  • Arbitration – this is most frequently used in construction and insurance disputes. The process is governed by statue and is overseen by an arbitrator who will very often have a professional background in the same field as the dispute. The arbitrator considers the evidence and makes an enforceable award which is binding upon the parties. The arbitrator will be appointed jointly by the parties or by an organisation authorised by them. Arbitration can therefore be preferable to mediation. Although more expensive than mediation arbitration is generally less costly than court proceedings.
  • Adjudication – this method is commonly used when disputes arise during the course of a contract or to deal with a limited issue swiftly and without jeopardising the remaining purpose of the contract. The parties will agree at the time of entering into the contract that disputes will be referred to a third party adjudicator rather than to terminate the contract and commence court action. Adjudication is generally a quick process whereby an adjudicator is appointed and required to consider the parties’ evidence and make a decision at a convened hearing, usually within a 28 day period. This is a useful process where the dispute is limited in scope and the parties wish to maintain commercial relations.
  • Negotiation – whilst the above are more formal methods of ADR, negotiation can be undertaken at any time. This may be done in writing or by telephone, or by a round table meeting, where the parties discuss their positions and try to reach a settlement or narrow the issues in dispute.
  • Professional Arbitration on Court Terms (‘PACT’) – a voluntary code used in business lease renewals.
  • Early Neutral Evaluation (‘ENE’) – this method employs an independent third-party appointed to assess a case and to give non-binding findings and recommendations.
  • Expert determination – similar to ENE. However, unlike ENE the independent third-party’s decision is binding.

ADR is not appropriate for every dispute, but the Courts do expect parties to try to settle out of court whenever it is practical, and can impose cost penalties on parties who unreasonably refuse to do so. It is therefore important to give consideration to ADR at an early state in your matter.

ADR Solutions with Wellers Law Group

Wellers is recognised as being a highly successful team of litigators, but we also embrace the possibilities of Alternative Dispute Resolution and, in many cases, believe that ADR may be the most suitable route to success.

Our advice is clear and open and we are committed to transparency around dispute resolution costs.

To find out more, please contact:

Alice Lithgow (Anderson) London 020 7481 6396
Joe Reeves London 020 7481 6383
James Baird Bromley 020 8290 7959
Rosalind Webster Bromley 020 8290 7993
Leon Hines Bromley 020 8290 7996
Craig Batko Surrey 01372 750 109
Philip Jackson Surrey 01372 750 100