Contact Law blog

Disputes and alternative dispute resolution: first of a five-part series

A few weeks ago we concluded our ‘Back to Work’ blog series. Today we are starting a new series on alternative dispute resolution methods and how these can be constructively applied to your situation.

The series will look at:

  • Mediation
  • Common disputes where mediation can be applied
  • Arbitration
  • The forms of disputes that arbitration is applied to

Forms of disputes

Being involved in a dispute, whether in a personal or professional capacity, is something most of us will have to endure. Disagreements can arise in our relationships with others and may, for instance, relate to:

  • Dissolving a marriage or civil union
  • Boundary disputes between neighbours

You may also come across disputes in a professional setting, such as:

  • Disagreements with your employer
  • Contractual disputes

These types of issues are increasingly being solved through alternative dispute resolution (ADR). ADR provides techniques for parties to solve their dispute without going to court. There are two principal ADR methods: mediation and arbitration.

These have traditionally been targeted at disputes of a certain nature. For instance, mediation has traditionally been applied in divorce cases whilst arbitration has more commonly been resorted to in commercial law disputes.

This separation of methods for certain fields is increasingly dissolving. This comes as the full realisation and possible application of each method is better understood.

For disputing parties, the benefits of using ADR will primarily be in relation to time and costs. Court proceedings can be long and expensive. ADR offers a neat alternative that is less confrontational and not as time consuming and costly.

It is not only in the UK that ADR is growing in popularity. These methods are increasingly gaining popularity abroad. Many businesses which trade internationally use arbitration to settle disputes between them.

As such, it is helpful to know how these methods work and how they apply to your situation. For the coming four Wednesdays we will cover different aspects of ADR.

Have you ever been involved in a dispute that was solved through ADR?

Here is a previous blog posts we wrote on ADR:

Arbitration now available to divorcing couples

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