dispute resolution

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

What you need to know

If you are involved in a dispute you should consider Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).

Here are the basics of what you need to know about ADR when considering whether it is the right approach for your circumstances.

What is ADR?

ADR is the collective name given to several different ways of dealing with disputes. Each method allows for a resolution to be found without going to court.

What are the different methods?

Mediation and conciliation are the most commonly used methods in ADR. Both use a neutral third party to facilitate discussions. helping to come to an agreed settlement.

Arbitration, adjudication, expert determination and some other procedures are sometimes referred to as ADR methods, but as they involve a third party to actually impose a solution, they are in some ways similar to the court process.

Is ADR suitable for all disputes?


It is not suitable where one of the parties wants the other one to take immediate action. For example, if you want someone to stop selling goods similar to yours.

ADR may also not be the most effective option if you want to publicise the dispute for any reason. Proceedings are completely confidential.

It may also not be advisable if there is a limited period within which action must be taken. This time limit will not be extended during the ADR process, meaning you could run out of time to make a claim.

What are the benefits of ADR?

Generally ADR is cheaper and quicker than trying to settle a dispute in court. It can also be far less stressful to all involved.

If successful, resolving a commercial dispute through ADR can preserve ongoing commercial relationships – especially if mediation is used.

It is also a useful way to deal with any private or sensitive matters, as the procedures are confidential.

Are there any disadvantages of ADR?

There could be a danger that one of the parties gets forced into a settlement they are not happy with, or that doesn’t reflect the nature or severity of the case.

It relies on both parties participating and being willing to come to a neutral agreement. So if one party refuses to engage in negotiations, or one party is demanding a settlement which the other party deems far too high, the dispute is unlikely to be resolved.

If this is the case and you end up going to court, your expenses will increase, as will the time it takes to sort out the issue.

How can I find out more?

If you would like advice on ADR or how to resolve your dispute, please contact Daniel Zakis or Alison Willis on 0121 705 7571, or email danielzakis@wallacerobinson.co.uk or alisonwillis@wallacerobinson.co.uk

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This article is for general information purposes only. It does not constitute technical, financial, legal advice or any other type of professional advice and is no substitute for specific advice based on your individual circumstances. We do not accept responsibility or liability for any actions taken based on the information in this article. For more information, please click here.