There are different types of ADR. For simplicity we set out here how modern arbitration works. This combines arbitration and mediation. It is non-adversarial. The parties are offered help to find a solution through mediation, and if no agreement is reached, the arbitrator looks into the issues and decides these, by dealing directly with the parties and without the need for a long-drawn out and expensive battle in court.
Once you have referred your case the most suitable arbitrator will be found for your case and he will meet and talk this through with you.
Your arbitrator will talk with the other party and see if an outcome can be found through mediation.
Your arbitrator is also a skilled mediator. The most difficult cases can be resolved, and positive solutions found, through mediation.
At the initial meeting the arbitrator will explain his or her role, and discuss the case and how it will be handled. The initial meeting will not usually involve the other party. The arbitrator will discuss with you whether you want to mediate, or negotiate, a solution. If so, a further meeting, or series of meetings, may then be arranged to see if agreement can be reached.
If an outcome is not agreed with the other party through mediation, or you just want a legally binding decision on your case, the arbitrator will give you a decision. This is made as binding as a court judgment by the Arbitration Act 1996.
If you do not want a legally binding decision, you can ask to have mediation only.
There is no need for you to have a solicitor, as your arbitrator will look after you, get to know your case and ensure you get the right result. If you want separate legal advice or support at any time you are though of course welcome to take this.
Modern arbitration will cost you less than 10% of the cost of going to court and you will get an outcome in a fraction of the time. To find out more go to Cost & time involved.
Any decision by the arbitrator will be final and legally binding on the parties and will dispose of the dispute. If you do not want a legally binding decision, you can ask to have mediation only.