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Alternative Dispute Resolution

Whatever the nature of your dispute, we will take the course of action that fits with your commercial objectives. This does not necessarily mean litigating through the Courts. We can also provide advice and assistance about resolving your dispute by way of Alternative Dispute Resolution ("ADR").

The most common ADR processes are mediation and without prejudice negotiations.

Mediation involves the appointment of an independent third party who assists the parties to negotiate their own settlement. The process is private and confidential and any settlement agreed as a result of the mediation is binding on the parties.

Without prejudice negotiations can help parties resolve disputes without involving a third party. Anything said during without prejudice meetings or correspondence is confidential and can only be disclosed to the Court when it is determining liability for costs after a judgment has been given. This encourages the parties to be open with each other. A hidden benefit of without prejudice negotiating is that, even if a full settlement isn't achieved, it may help to narrow the issues in dispute, making the formal proceedings more efficient, quicker and less expensive.

Other types of ADR include:

Adjudication is a form of ADR used in relation to construction and building related disputes. It is usually a very quick procedure which can be concluded within 28 days of referring a dispute to the adjudicator. The adjudicator's decision is binding on the parties unless and until the dispute is determined by litigation, arbitration or agreement. Often an adjudicator's decision will not be challenged.

Arbitration involves the appointment of a qualified arbitrator to determine the dispute between the parties. The process followed by the arbitrator is similar to the process followed by the Courts and the arbitrator's decision will be final and binding on the parties. Unlike in court proceedings, the parties are subject to duties of confidentiality.

Expert Determination involves the appointment of an expert who is familiar with the technical issues in a dispute. The expert is jointly instructed by the parties to determine the dispute between them, often on the basis of written submissions only. The expert decision is legally binding on the parties. The process is relatively informal and can be cheaper and quicker than other forms of ADR.

Early Neutral Evaluation is a non-binding process in which an independent third party, appointed by the parties, gives an impartial assessment of the merits of the claim. There is no power to impose a settlement on the parties but the evaluation can often facilitate settlement discussions.

Contact us

If you are or may be involved in a dispute, or if you are a professional advisor looking to assist a client in resolving a claim, then we would like to hear from you. 

We provide advice on a wide range of legal issues to clients around Yorkshire and beyond from our offices in Leeds, York and Sheffield. For an initial discussion about your case, contact one of our specialist solicitors today.

We have offices based in Sheffield, York and Leeds.

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