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Alternative Dispute Resolution Adjudication

ADR

What does ADR stand for? Essentially Alternative Dispute Resolution and all of the forms of dispute resolution below are practised at MJD Solicitors. We have been involved in adjudications and mediations ranging in value from £15,000 to £4 million

Adjudication

The method of resolving disputes by Adjudication is not novel although the Housing, Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (the Construction Act)  placed the right to adjudicate construction related disputes on a statutory footing.

The Construction Act was amended in 2011 and as a consequence the Construction Act 2011 applies to the majority of commercial contracts.  The lawyers at MJD Solicitors have been involved in Construction Adjudication since the year 2000 and can provide clients with cost effective legal representation for commercial and other property disputes. For more about our work with Construction Disputes.

Adjudication enables clients to secure an enforceable judgment within a matter of weeks and the courts will only decline summary judgement in limited circumstances. Although the successful party within an Adjudication usually recovers the costs of the Adjudicator, he will not, unless the other side consents, be entitled to recover the costs of representation. It is therefore vital that costs remain proportionate to the sums at stake. We frequently share risk with our clients by working under fixed, capped and discounted fee arrangements.

By using a solicitors practice, clients can be sure that the advice they receive benefits from  litigation privilege and legal advice privilege , i.e remains confidential and the other side cannot demand to see the advice given in subsequent litigation (the courts have held that advice given by claims consultants and non practising barristers do not benefit from such privilege) and so there is always an advantage to a client to use fully qualified solicitor or barrister.

Mediation

Mediation is actively encouraged by the Courts and an unreasonable refusal to mediate can result in an adverse costs order being made against a party. If the right people are in a room and there is a genuine desire to settle a difference, then it is not uncommon for insurmountable obstacles to be overcome and settlement to be achieved.

There are no hard and fast rules in mediation and a number of different styles are adopted by Mediators in an attempt to secure settlement. What is important however is that clients select lawyers with practical experience of mediation. The Lawyers at MJD Solicitors have participated in a number of mediations where parties have achieved outcomes that far exceeded their expectations.

Expert Determination

Expert Determination is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution, also known as ADR. It is a confidential and binding process for settling a technical issue or dispute.

There are no hard and fast rules in Expert Determination. Parties are free to agree whatever processes and rules they wish.

Expert Determination is particularly useful when the parties require a specialist view on a subject matter and are prepared to be bound by the decision of the Expert. It is usual for the decision to be finally binding. Expert Determination can provide a fast and cost effective means of determining technical issues where there are no substantial disputes of fact.

Expert Determination is also beneficial where parties need to maintain an on-going relationship which is often soured by the use of litigation or arbitration.

Arbitration

Arbitration remains a popular forum for resolving disputes where a degree of confidentiality is required or where it is considered beneficial for the Arbiter to have technical expertise. It remains common practice for construction contracts to provide that disputes must be resolved by was of arbitration as opposed to litigation, and in the event that a party erroneously issues court proceedings, then an application to stay the court proceedings can be made.

MJD Solicitors have experience of Adjudication and all types of Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Matthew Dillon of Brentwood’s MJD Solicitors has worked on adjudications since 2000. representing both Employers, Contractors and Subcontractors on a range of disputes . Matthew can be contacted here.