Alternative Dispute Resolution
How to resolve a dispute without going to Court
Sometimes it is just not possible to avoid getting into a commercial dispute with another party, whether it be in relation to the boundary at your property, in relation to a will or inheritance, or a dispute with a professional who you instructed to do a job for you.
In these circumstances, it is always a good idea to consider whether you can resolve your dispute using some form of Alternative Dispute Resolution. Some organisations, (such as Trading Standards, or the Civil Aviation Authority) will have their own dispute resolution procedures which need to be followed.
What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?
Going to court is stressful, and it can be time consuming and expensive. These days the court expects parties to try to resolve matters between them before they start proceedings.
Alternative Dispute Resolution is simply the name given to the various ways in which disputes can be resolved without needing to use the court system.
How Does Mediation Work?
The most common type of Alternative Dispute Resolution is mediation, where a trained mediator is hired jointly by both of the parties to try and broker a settlement. The mediation can either start with all of the parties in a room together, to set out their issues, and then divide into separate rooms.
Alternatively, the parties do not have to see each other at all during the mediation, and the mediator simply shuttles between them, narrowing down the issues until (usually) a settlement which is acceptable to both parties is reached.
Samuels Solicitors only uses highly experienced and well-respected mediators and we have an extensive network of contacts.
Settling at mediation is usually much quicker and more cost effective than going to trial. It also gives the parties’ the opportunity to reach agreements which would not be possible in court.
Mediation can also take place after court proceedings have been started, as a fast and cost effective way to bring proceedings to a conclusion.
How we can help you
Samuels Solicitors has a proven track record of resolving long running and highly contentious disputes at mediation. These have involved:
- agreements to sell or transfer property;
- setllement of claims against solicitors and other professionals;
- settlements of six and seven figure commercial claims;
- the settlement of family disputes involving disputes about wills and inheritance; and
- resolution of issues over boundaries between properties.
We will always discuss whether your case is appropriate for mediation with you at an early stage, and at various other stages as your case progresses.
What about the costs of mediation?
All of the parties in a mediation usually agree to split the costs of the mediator and the mediation between them equally, although this is not always the case. It is also very common for the costs that each party has incurred to be discussed at mediation. Most settlements will include an agreement about which side ought to pay costs, and often exactly what payment ought to be made, meaning that a successful mediation really does mean the end of a dispute.
Although alternative dispute resolution methods are almost always more cost-effective than going to Court, they can still be expensive to fund. We will discuss your funding options with you at the outset and will always consider flexible funding arrangements for clients who have a strong case.
If your case is particularly strong, and both sides are willing to mediate, we will sometimes agree to defer payment of our fees until the case has been concluded.
How do I start a mediation?
Contact us today for a free no obligation discussion if you would like more information about alternative dispute resolution.