Commercial Alternative Dispute Resolution

Smooth Commercial Law are keen advocates of Alternative Dispute Resolution, whether through mediation, arbitration or in facilitating without prejudice discussions between parties.  

Our team is equipped to take on disputes of all sizes, no matter how big or complicated. We do, however, fully appreciate that court action isn’t always appropriate, and we will discuss your case with you, determine your options and assist you in making a decision as to the most commercial course of action to take.

Smooth Commercial Law understand that going to trial is often costly and needlessly stressful for both parties. We always look to settle disputes outside of court, where suitable, coming to an outcome that satisfies both parties.

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?

Alternative Dispute Resolution, or ADR, is a general term given to various methods of dealing with commercial disputes outside of court.

There are many times where commercial disputes can be settled without going to court, with the most commonly used method being mediation. A third party is often appointed to encourage and enable a solution to the dispute. The third party has to be neutral to both parties, and have no vest interests in the outcome.

Generally speaking, ADR is often cheaper and quicker than taking issues to court. The rulings are also confidential, which can be particularly useful in resolving matters that may concern industry secrets or commercially sensitive terms of trade.

Alternative Dispute Resolution can also be used in situations where both parties want to remain in a state to continue business. This is down to the fact that the object of ADR is to create an outcome in which both parties benefit.

In addition to the benefits of using ADR before going straight to court, under the Civil Procedure Rules, judges now usually expect parties to have considered the user of Alternative Dispute Resolution before going to court.  

What are the options for Alternative Dispute Resolution?

There are a number of alternative paths companies can take if they do not wish to go to court. This include:

  • Mediation

A mediator can be appointed by both parties to help find a solution to the dispute. This can be carried out before the formal dispute process, in parallel with the process and/or as required by the contractual documents relating to the two parties.

  • Expert Determination

A procedure in which an expert makes a determination on the dispute, which is then legally binding, unless the parties agree otherwise. Both parties will choose the expert with relevant expertise. The advice is both neutral and flexible.

  • Arbitration

Another method to resolve commercial disputes outside of the court. An arbitrator or panel of arbitrators is appointed by both parties. This is commonly used in construction and insurance disputes.

  • Adjudication

This is a relatively fast way to solve commercial disputes, taking an average of 28 days, with each party presenting their case in the form of a referral notice and response. An adjudicator will be chosen, normally a professional body relating to the area of dispute. While it is a quick method, the lack of oral evidence and tight timescales may lead to injustice or the inability to recover costs.

Whatever method your business chooses to settle your dispute, our expert dispute resolution solicitors can help guide you through the process, step by step.

How can Smooth Commercial Law help?

Smooth Commercial Law are proud to specialise in not just traditional adversarial litigation but alternative forms of dispute resolution, such as mediation, expert determination and arbitration as well.

At all times we aim to provide sensible, pragmatic and commercial advice to clients with an emphasis on finding practical solutions wherever possible. 

We have strong links with, and act for a number of clients in, Liverpool, Manchester, London and surrounding areas. We are a true boutique style law firm, in the sense, that we are client focused and flexible on costs.

We deliver exceptional, partner-led, advice and representation at competitive rates with an emphasis on helping our clients to achieve their commercial objectives at the earliest possible stage, particularly when alternative dispute resolution is involved.

What our clients say

Fantastic work by all at Smooth Law, I would highly recommend them. They helped me through my claims process with a very successful outcome.

They are always on hand to answer questions and keep you updated in a clear and friendly manner. Special thanks to Scott and Tom who dealt with my case. I have 100% confidence they will achieve the best result for you.

Get in touch

If you would like to speak to one of our North West contract dispute solicitors, you can do by calling the number at the top of this page, or by completing an enquiry form.

We will get back to you as soon as possible and discuss your next steps regarding your alternative dispute resolution matter.