Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) provides a voluntary alternative to the accepted practice of using the courts to settle civil disputes.

The principle forms of ADR are:

  • Adjudication;
  • Mediation;
  • Conciliation;
  • Arbitration.

The best known and most commonly used forms of ADR in the UK are arbitration and mediation but adjudication is rapidly becoming established as a valued method of settling disputes quickly, fairly and inexpensively.

ADR, or external dispute resolution (“EDR”) typically denotes a wide range of dispute resolution processes and techniques that act as a means for disagreeing parties to come to an agreement short of litigation: a collective term for the ways that parties can settle disputes.

The main advantages of solving a problem with ADR is that it is usually:

  • cheaper than court solutions;
  • more flexible;
  • faster;
  • less stressful;
  • you may receive compensation;
  • the ADR procedure is confidential.

ADR is not available for criminal cases that are dealt with by and on behalf of the Crown before the Criminal Courts. Public Law disputes between individuals and the State, for example a complaint that an application for planning permission has not been dealt with properly by a planning and development licensing authority, are normally handled by specialist decision making bodies such as administrative tribunals which, whilst distinct from the courts, remain part of the State judicial machinery.

Audley Chaucer solicitors are experienced in leading their clients through the maze of ways to reach a satisfactory outcome and ensure their clients understand each step of the process.


Ian Lake

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