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Alternative Litigation Options – are they effective?

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The contemporary UK litigation sector now allows for a variety of alternative options when it comes to resolving commercial, business and personal legal disputes. Known as Alternative Dispute Resolution (‘ADR’), it is worth being aware of the options available and which may be best suited for your individual circumstances.

The three main types of Alternative Dispute Resolution are:

Mediation

As there is now a requirement for parties involved in most claim types to consider mediation, this process is now regarded as a necessary step for many cases, with judges making it a requirement for a party to indicate why they have refused to mediate. Mediation is essentially a simple process, designed to limit the costs involved in litigation and to reduce the number of claims that require valuable court time. Both sides produce a meditation statement and attend a mediation session. At these sessions, there are usually three rooms; one for each party and one for the mediator. The mediator’s role is to try and persuade both parties to come to a settlement, and there are now a large number of experienced, subject-specialist mediators in the UK. Mediation can prove to be highly successful as long as it is carried out in the right way and at the right time; if not, it can actually lead to an increase in overall costs and a further delays.

Arbitration

Arbitration is a private litigation process governed by certain rules agreed to in advance by the parties. There are a number of bodies that provide rules to govern arbitrations, including UNCITRAL, LCIA and ICC, or the parties involved can also agree to case-specific rules. The main advantage in using arbitration is the confidential aspect of the proceedings, but there is often very little cost benefit in comparison to proceedings before the court and, although it is meant to be a quicker process, this is not always the case. As a general guide, disputes involving sensitive contracts may be best dealt with via arbitration.

Adjudication

Adjudication was introduced by the Construction Act 1996 as a form of compulsory dispute resolution specifically for construction disputes, a sector that it is still mainly used in. Adjudication involves a relatively quick process (typically 28 days), with each party presenting their case in the form of a referral notice and response. The nature of the disputed contract will normal indicate how the adjudicator should be chosen. Adjudication advantages are privacy, speed and cost-effectiveness, but the tight timescales and lack of oral evidence can in some cases lead to a poor outcome and the inability to recover costs. 

Commercial Litigation Funding

If you are thinking about taking legal action against another individual or company but are worried about the costs involved, Advantage Litigation Services have the skills and expertise to help you find a way of funding commercial litigation without risking your personal finances or those of your business. Click here to contact us today or call 0800 160 1298 to see how we can help.

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