Alternative Dispute Resolution
Litigation and going to court are often unavoidable. It can, however, be resource consuming. ADR options include mediation, arbitration and adjudication. ADR is an appropriate course of action where the parties wish their relationship to continue. Litigation is by its nature adversarial but by settling disputes by ADR, there is a good chance that parties can achieve a favourable outcome and the relationship can continue.
Benefits of ADR
- Maintains a business relationship: The proponents of ADR argue that processes such as mediation can maintain existing business relationships as the parties are aided towards a settlement.
- Speed: The average mediation lasts 1-2 days. The proponents of ADR frequently compare this to a trial which could last years. It is however important to remember that the parties may not be in a position to forge a settlement early on in the dispute process and it may in fact take many months or even years before they are in a position to mediate effectively.
- Lower cost: Clearly a short mediation is a cheaper event than a trial or arbitration. Some argue that lawyers are unnecessary in the process (and therefore a further cost saving is made) while other consider lawyers a valuable addition.
- Confidentiality: The proceedings of a mediation are confidential. Contrastingly, litigation is in the public domain and arbitration may become public if there is an appeal. Confidentiality is an advantage as some clients wish to keep their disputes from the public domain.
The most common types of ADR are