Where there is a dispute between parties, the law now encourages the parties concerned to engage in an ADR scheme in order to settle the matter or reduce the disputed issues. ADR is by far a less-expensive way of resolving disputes without costly and lengthy lawsuits and court proceedings.
There are several ADR schemes out there and different firms or industries may choose to settle disputes through a specific scheme. The type of ADR scheme used to settle dispute will determine the process and the outcome you get. The three main forms of ADR are:
Arbitration — This is the process by which a dispute between parties is heard and determined by an independent person (arbitrator) appointed by the parties concerned. The determination of the arbitrator is legally binding.
Adjudication — An adjudicator is an independent person with expertise in the area of dispute. The arbitrator will consider evidence submitted by both parties before reaching a decision. Unlike arbitration, adjudication is not legally binding and parties may proceed to court if they are still not satisfied with the outcome of the adjudication.
Conciliation and mediation — In mediation an independent and impartial person talks to the parties separately or together with the aim of reaching a solution that is acceptable to the parties. The mediator does not take sides, rather the mediator acts as a conduit for resolving the underlying issues. Although similar to mediation, conciliation primarily focuses on the outcome desired by both parties and is less concerned with the underlying issues that caused the dispute.
Our clients appoint us to represent them during the ADR process in order to protect their interests. We also provide advice and toolkit to our clients who elect to personally manage the process.