Alternative dispute resolution can save your business money

Business disputes don’t have to involve expensive legal action. Alternative dispute resolution can help to ensure your quarrel doesn’t go to court.

What is alternative dispute resolution?

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) involves working closely with you to resolve issues with a third party, without going to court. 

Commercial disputes can take many forms and it can be very useful to settle matters through a process of adjudication, arbitration, conciliation and mediation.

Issues we can help you with include:

  • Contract disputes
  • Banking disputes
  • Financial services disputes
  • Corporate disputes
  • Joint venture disputes
  • Intellectual property disputes
  • Commercial fraud
  • Borrower protection
  • Professional negligence
  • Regulatory compliance

What are the different types of alternative dispute resolution?

The courts actively encourage businesses and organisations to settle disputes out of court where possible, and alternative dispute resolution is also promoted by the Civil Procedure Rules.

If you are involved in a commercial dispute and you refuse any of the approaches described below, when offered to you by the other party, you may be subject to penalties if the case ends up going to court.

  • Solicitor negotiation
    If negotiating directly with the other party involved in the dispute doesn’t move the matter towards a resolution, you might consider having your solicitor attempt a negotiation. A skilled commercial litigation solicitor with experience of discussing complex disputes might be able to bring the matter to a close quickly, without you having to be involved.
  • Mediation
    Another alternative to direct negotiation is mediation. Both parties agree upon and appoint a mediator who will help facilitate a resolution. Mediators can be extremely useful in commercial disputes that have become fractious, or where you and the other party need help, but do not wish to hand over control to a solicitor.
  • Arbitration
    In more complex disputes that require specialist knowledge for a particular niche, an arbitrator may be required to represent each party and work towards a solution. This can be particularly useful within sectors such as construction and insurance, where disputes can rest on highly technical issues.
  • Adjudication
    In the construction industry, adjudicators can be appointed to resolve disputes. They will listen to both sides of the argument before making a quick decision to bring the matter to a close.

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What are the benefits of alternative dispute resolution?

The main benefits are the savings to be made in costs and time. Court cases are invariably more drawn out and far more expensive than negotiation, mediation, arbitration or adjudication.

Also, where disputes are better kept behind closed doors, resolution methods such as arbitration can be extremely useful in ensuring maximum confidentiality. This can help to lessen the impact of the matter on people within your company, and prevent the media and the general public from knowing.

I am involved in a commercial dispute that I wish to resolve out of court – what should I do?

You could attempt to negotiate the matter directly to bring about a resolution informally - speak to our team of commercial litigation experts to identify the best course of action. Or use our online enquiry form and we’ll give you a call.

Our solicitors will provide you with advice on the dispute resolution options that will help you to preserve on-going business relationships and give you the best chance for a positive outcome to the dispute.

Need a hand? First4Lawyers will...

  • Review your legal requirements for free
  • Recommend the most appropriate action based on your personal needs
  • Assign you a pre-vetted solicitor from our expert panel

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