Alternative Dispute Resolution - Mediation


Alternative Dispute Resolution ("ADR") is an effective method of resolving disputes outside of court and typically includes early evaluation, negotiation, conciliation, mediation, and arbitration. One of the most common forms of ADR is mediation.
Mediation is an informal, flexible and confidential alternative process to litigation, in which an impartial third party facilitates the negotiation by the parties to the dispute and support the parties to work out a settlement or agreement that fits both parties’ interests and guarantees a win-win situation.

Main Advantages

The following are the main advantages of mediation:
Often winning a case through litigation does not guarantee absolute success. Even when a party is successful in litigation, they often spend considerable resources on the trial which cannot be recovered. There are often intangible losses like reputational harm and relationship damage suffered by both parties regardless of the outcome. Mediation mitigates these risks and can be the basis of a win-win situation where there is perseveration of the relationship and the costs are kept to a minimum.
In mediation both parties are able to adjust the agreement to their current interests and resources.
Mediation is often a more efficient use of time and money as it eliminates the stress and costs involved with court. Parties often save a lot of time by finding a solution within weeks or months, compared to court, which can take years and money.
The focus of the mediation is determined by the parties themselves which allows the consideration of the issues important to each party. This means the mediation and final settlement can be within the resources of each party making the solution practical and obtainable.
If parties are unable to reach agreement, the option to go to court remains. Details of the mediation are not disclosed or used at a court hearing, this allows open discussion during any mediation but also guarantees the parties start from an equal basis should the need arise to go to trial.

When to use

Despite its many advantages, mediation is not suitable for every dispute and may even be precluded by earlier contractual agreement. If the dispute involves a matter of public interest or where the relationship between the parties has deteriorated significantly a trial may be necessary to solve the dispute. When faced with a dispute it is very important to understand the options and choose the dispute resolution method most appropriate for your situation. At AC & Coll. we can advise you of your options and help you find the right solution.