A Litigator’s Guide to … Alternative Dispute Resolution Clauses

3 Minutes

Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) is a loose term encompassing various methods that have developed to try and resolve a dispute without resorting to a full court trial. In the right circumstances, ADR clauses in contracts can help parties resolve a dispute. In other circumstances, they have the potential to operate as a 'straitjacket', restricting tactical choices or, in extreme cases, limiting remedies.

In this guide, we take a look at some common binding and non-binding ADR provisions and share our thoughts on when they are best utilised (and avoided) and give some overarching views on ADR provisions generally.

We should add that we are firmly of the view that finding a way to resolve a dispute is usually far preferable than the alternative. It will save time, money and stress. The question is whether a particular route should be chosen at the outset of a contract or left to be determined if a dispute arises.

We look at Non-binding routes (i.e. methods of facilitating negotiation and agreement):

  • Mediation, and
  • 'Tiered' escalation procedures
  • And, Binding routes (i.e. alternative routes to impose a solution on parties):

  • Arbitration
  • Adjudication, and
  • Expert determination
  • The guide also considers Appropriate Carve Outs and the question of Whether commercial contracts need ADR provisions at all?

    To read the full Guide click here

    How we can help

    We are always happy to have a chat to fellow professionals about whether ADR provisions might be appropriate in a specific commercial setting. We can give a perspective on how things might play out if a contract goes wrong and help decide how best to plan for that.

    If a dispute does arise, we are always available to speak informally in the first instance and, if our help is needed, we can develop the right strategy to resolve the situation favourably. Our fee structures are transparent, and we offer a high level of service from our experienced team. So, please get in touch if you would like our help.


    Contact details:

    Michael Ridgwell | Solicitor

    email: mridgwell@loneystewartholland.co.uk
    call: 07942 499260

    Alistair Stewart | Partner

    email: astewart@loneystewartholland.co.uk
    call: 07869 435226

    website: www.loneystewartholland.co.uk