Why Alternative Dispute Resolution and what are the Business outcomes?
“ADR”, sometimes known as Appropriate Dispute resolution, is now an established part of any court or tribunal case management programme. In a world of increasing litigation costs and judicial expectation ADR is the first resort to settle for more.
The EU Directive (2008/52/EC) on mediation in cross-border disputes is a clear indication of this trend. ADR is therefore now considered the most effective, economic and relatively swift way to resolve contentious issues and manage conflict constructively. The option to undertake mediation or arbitration is most frequently to be found written into a contract’s terms
The traditional underpinnings of the private process of dispute resolution are enforceability, neutrality, transparency, confidentiality, cost effectiveness and speed. To these has been added the principle of flexibility.
ADR is used in order to preserve and lessen damage to working relationships wherever possible, to reputation, wealth and health. It will help preserve your business’s bottom line.
In Rolf v De Guerin  EWCA Civ 78, the Court of Appeal considered an appeal about the costs of a small building dispute, in circumstances where the claimant succeeded on only a fraction of her claim and the defendant refused several offers to mediate until the eve of trial. The Court of Appeal exercised its discretion to make no order as to costs. It held that refusing to participate in settlement negotiations or mediation was, on the facts, unreasonable and ought to bear materially on the exercise of the court’s discretion. Indeed, Lord Justice Rix characterised the matter as “a sad case about lost opportunities for mediation”.