It’s an inevitability that when your business experiences a dispute it can be costly and time consuming.
When helping our clients navigate their disputes we explore Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) with them. ADR is a term that refers to confidential methods of resolving disputes, allowing parties to address maters outside of court proceedings.
During the course of a dispute, parties have a duty to consider using ADR both at the outset of the dispute and as the dispute progresses, even once court proceedings are underway.
ADR can be as simple as picking up the phone to the other party and exploring a “without prejudice” settlement with them (negotiation). It can also take more formal routes such as mediation, arbitration and adjudication. Sometimes contracts you have in place with the other party dictate which form of ADR you should use.
There are also strategic offers parties can use which will put the other party at risk on costs in the event you go on to beat the offer at a later date. These are referred to as Part 36 offers.
Each form of ADR has a different process, level of formality and not all decisions reached will be legally binding. There is also no guarantee of course that ADR will always settle your dispute. A significant benefit of ADR is it is confidential and allows the parties to retain a degree of privacy in comparison to court proceedings. This in turn helps maintain the reputations of the parties and increases the likelihood that your commercial relationship can be maintained.
But don’t worry, where ADR is appropriate, we will help guide you as to which form best suites your dispute. At Briffa we appreciate the benefit of embracing ADR and will explore it with you early on as a method of achieving your commercial objectives and resolving your dispute in a cost-effective and timely manner.
If you have an intellectual property dispute that is causing a headache for your business, please feel free to contact us.
Written by Dan Crate – Solicitor
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