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FAQs about ADR

What is ADR?

ADR, or alternative dispute resolution, describes the alternative ways to resolve a dispute outside court.  The most common are arbitration and mediation, although there are others, such as expert determination, mini-trial, and adjudication.

What is 'modern arbitration'?

Modern arbitration, the form of ADR most extensively trialled by CfJ, combines mediation and arbitration.  It works on a non-adversarial basis. The arbitrator deals with the parties and the evidence direct to reach a decision quickly and reliably.  There are no complex long-drawn out procedures. This direct approach ensures you are more likely to get the right decision.  It does so in a fraction of the time and cost of going to court.

Modern arbitration also encourages the parties to agree a solution through mediation.  This can be at the start or at any time during the process. 

What are the advantages?

ADR, and in particular modern arbitration,  enables you to be more sure of getting the right result and removes the risk, stress and uncertainty of going to court.  It saves you the enormous amount of cost and time you would spend in the court process.

It is more straightforward, very much quicker, and with mediation you can benefit from more constructive outcomes.

What are the savings?

Cases show you can reduce legal costs and time spent by 90%. See Time and cost involved

How long will it take?

Cases are resolved on average within two months. Cases going to court can easily take two years.

How can we be more sure of getting the right result?

With modern arbitration there is a thorough and robust investigation of your case, and with the best specialists dealing with you and the evidence direct, your arbitrator will ensure he fully understands your case.  The risk and uncertainty of court process is removed and you are more sure of getting the right result.


FAQs about how ADR and Modern Arbitration work

What is mediation?

A mediator helps the parties discuss and agree constructive solutions beyond those available in court.  He will meet the parties separately and together.  This will enable you to look at the real problems that gave rise to the dispute and find common sense answers you can both be happy with. If you use modern arbitration, your arbitrator will also act as mediator

I do not want to mediate

If you do not want mediation you can use modern arbitration to secure a decision on your case more quickly and affordably than going to court.

How is the decision or mediation legally binding?

An arbitrator's decision is as binding under the Arbitration Act 1996 as a court judgment.   An agreement agreed in mediation is binding on the parties.

I only want mediation

You can choose mediation alone.  (If you use modern arbitration, you can ask for the mediation only option.  If you then want your mediator to go on to decide any part of the case you may still ask him to do this as part of the referral).

We just want an opinion or non-binding decision

If this is what you prefer, you can use modern arbitration and a decision can be given on a non-binding basis.  This can still have a real value as it acts as independent joint advice to the parties.

What types of case are suitable?

Nearly anything that can go to a civil court or tribunal.  See Cases suited to ADR for examples.

Who will I be dealing with?

With modern arbitration or mediation your case will be handled by your arbitrator or mediator.  You will also have a case manager who can answer any questions you have and give you support.

Who are the arbitrators?

Arbitrators such as those used for modern arbitration are usually leading barristers and solicitors chosen as the most suitable for your case.  They will be familiar with the law and practice in the area of your dispute.  They are also accredited mediators and are independent.

How do we know we will have the right arbitrator?

Research is carried out to establish the leading specialists in every field.  They are selected on the basis of their skills, knowledge and reputation to ensure you have best available and the most suitable for your case.

How do I refer a case? 

Please contact us and just ask any questions and we can arrange the referral. (Also see Refer a case).

How do we know we will get the right result?

With modern arbitration you will have one of the best lawyers in the area of your dispute.  He will deal with you direct and give you all the time you need to have him understand your case, and he will  come back to you for further comments. You will not face the risk and uncertainty of court process.  This is a reliable and certain way of getting the right and fair result.

Where does this all happen?

Your arbitrator usually works from his office but can meet you where most convenient.  Mediation usually takes place at a neutral mediation venue.

When should I go to ADR?

You can take a case to ADR at any time, but the earlier the better.

The case is already with solicitors or in court

This is not a problem.  Cases commonly go to ADR after the claim has been issued.

Do both parties have to agree?

At present both parties do need to agree the referral.

What if the other party does not agree?

CfJ can help you get the other parties agreement so please contact us.  There are a number of reasons the other party will want to agree a referral.

I am not clear whether with ADR the case is mediated or decided

You have a choice of mediation only or arbitration only.  If though you choose modern arbitration both are included in the process and you can decide which mode suits you best at any stage.  Usually mediation is tried first.  In the few cases this does not resolve the issues, those that are left can be decided by the arbitrator on a legally binding basis.

What happens to the costs I have already run up?

If you use modern arbitration, your arbitrator can decide how these should be dealt with.

Can the parties go back to court?

If you agree a solution through mediation, this will bring an end to the dispute.  If you agree your lawyer is to decide the case, through modern arbitration or any other form of arbitration, this will be legally binding and will also be final.  Both of you will have agreed you want the case decided, so you do not need to go  to court.  If though you choose mediation only, and no agreement is reached, the parties can go back to court.

I just want to know where I stand

A modern arbitrator will talk to both sides and have access to all the evidence.  This puts him in a position to give you a reliable view on how the case is likely to go.  This view can be non-binding, if this is what you choose.

What is CfJ's role?

CfJ has been researching and trialling different forms of dispute resolution. It considers modern arbitration to combine the best of ADR.  It would like to see modern arbitration provided by other service providers and the courts, but in the meantime continues to provide the service itself for those who wish to use it.

If you would like to find out any more, please get in touch. A member of our team will be happy to assist you with any questions. Call us on 020 7849 6963