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The benefits of ADR


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21 December 2012

What is alternative dispute resolution and why is it good?

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is a way of resolving disputes by using an independent third party, who helps the parties reach a solution. It is a voluntary method, unlike litigation, and the parties can choose the process and can withdraw when they wish. The third party can propose solutions, but the parties are not required to accept it.

The third party is a fundamental aspect of ADR and resolving the problem. The parties both know of his independence and that they do not have to accept what he proposes, meaning they are more likely to trust his ideas. Also, they will not want to be seen as an obstruction and hence may be less aggressive towards one another.

There are numerous advantages to using ADR;

Cheap and Speedy

Essentially, ADR is cheaper because it is quicker! The skilled third party neutral can often resolve differences quickly by offering new ideas, hence reducing costs. You will still have to pay the third party and any lawyers who you choose to use, however they spend significantly less time on the case and hence there are fewer costs. Just be prepared that it will still cost you money!


Parties have ultimate control in ADR, and can choose from a variety of different types e.g. mediation, med-arb and structured settlement procedure. There is also no requirement to comply with statute or case law.

Preserves Relationship

ADR is a private resolution, and is therefore very useful if parties have to deal with each other again in the future. The non-confrontational method means that the relationship is more likely to continue, as there is freedom and choice for both parties involved.

Real Ideas

The third party is unconnected to the matter and is therefore more likely to give realistic suggestions and find a workable settlement which is not influenced by the perhaps unrealistic wishes of the parties.

Of course, ADR is not appropriate in all cases, but it is always worth considering as it could save you a lot of time and money!

By Emma Wigmore, Emma is a paralegal at Lawdit Solicitors

About the Author

Lawdit Solicitors offer services and advice for litigation, commercial contracts, Intellectual Property and IT legal agreements. We are experts in commercial law with a heavy emphasis on Intellectual Property, Internet and e-commerce law. Lawdit is a member of the International Trademark Association, the Solicitors' Association of Higher Court Advocates and we are the appointed Solicitors to the largest webdesign association in the world, the United Kingdom Website Designers Association.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2013-02-08 09:03:01 in Legal Articles

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