If a debtor is disputing all or part of the debt the disagreement needs to be resolved so you can get paid. As an alternative to formal litigation you can attempt to resolve any disputes through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods such as negotiation, mediation, adjudication (in the case of construction debt-related disputes) or arbitration.
We are highly experienced in dispute resolution and have an expert team that can manage the process. We use best-in-class technology to run our cases and have a robust success rate in resolving disputes through ADR methods.
What are the different types of ADR?
Methods of ADR include:
Negotiation – both parties are brought together, sometimes at a ‘round table’ to establish trust. Legal representatives can be present, supporting parties in coming to an agreement that benefits everyone.
Mediation – parties work with a Mediator to come to a win-win solution regarding the debt-related dispute.
Adjudication – primarily used to swiftly resolve construction disputes, an Adjudicator makes an interim binding decision which can be enforced by agreement or by the Court.
Arbitration – An Arbitrator hears evidence and witness statements and makes a legally binding decision.
What are the advantages of ADR?
There are several advantages to choosing an ADR method to resolve a debt-related dispute, including:
- All ADR methods are confidential and conducted in private.
- ADR is normally a swift process.
- ADR (except for adjudication) is voluntary.
- If the ADR method you use does not work you can issue Court proceedings.
How do I choose an ADR method?
The first step is to examine the contract between you and the debtor. It may include a disputes resolution clause that sets out the method to be applied. For example, the contract may state that the parties have agreed to use mediation to resolve disputes and set out how the Mediator will be chosen. In the case of construction contracts, the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (Construction Act 1996) provides a statutory right for parties to refer their disputes to adjudication.
How do I prepare for mediation?
Our Solicitors will carry out a risk assessment based on the strengths and weaknesses of your case. This will ensure you feel confident when attending the mediation sessions.
Our Debt Recovery Solicitors will also prepare a strategy for successful negotiation in the mediation sessions by analysing each sides’ alternatives to reaching an agreement, the parties’ goals and interests, and the potential options for settlement.
Furthermore, before devising a negotiation plan, we will identify what further information is needed to make good settlement decisions. We can request such information from the Mediator well before the scheduled mediation sessions.
Do I have to try ADR, or can I bring a claim in Court as soon as possible?
Except for construction contract disputes you do not have to try ADR before issuing Court proceedings. In many cases, filing a claim in Court is the fastest way to resolve your dispute and achieve payment of your debt.