Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR): How We Can Assist

Our team has extensive knowledge and experience with Alternative Dispute Resolution. Find out how we can assist you by getting in contact today.

What is ADR?

ADR is an alternative to litigation. It is a confidential and cheaper alternative than proceeding to a Trial. There are different forms of ADR services which include the following:

–         Mediation – a mediator is a neutral independent third party. Their role is to assist the parties to reach a mutually beneficial solution. A mediator will not offer their own opinion or provide an assessment of the merits of the matter.

–         Arbitration – an arbitrator is a neutral third party which the parties have appointed to resolve the dispute.  The parties will make oral submissions and the arbitrator will then make a decision on the issues of the case which is binding upon the parties.

–         Conciliation – This is commonly used in employment disputes. The conciliator will discuss the issues and help the parties to reach an agreement. They often provide their own opinions after assessing the situation.

When Should I use Alternative Dispute Resolution?

ADR can be used in a variety of cases which include but are not limited to, family law, contract law and consumer law/ consumer disputes. It is an increasingly popular way to resolve complaints about goods or services.

Why should I use ADR?

–         ADR allows the parties to exercise greater control over the way their dispute is resolved. The parties are able to choose the applicable law, place and appropriate decision makers for their dispute. An increase in autonomy can also speed up the process as the parties are free to create the most effective process to resolve their dispute.

–         ADR proceedings are private. The parties are unable to disclose any information outside of the ADR process. Anything disclosed in ADR is also on a without prejudice basis and so cannot be used in litigation.

–         The third party instructed will be neutral to the parties and dispute. Further to this, ADR can be neutral to the law and culture of the parties.

–         ADR is cheaper than proceeding to Trial. Mediation in particular is a much cheaper alternative to litigation.

–         ADR resolves disputes quicker compared to litigation. In particular, if your claim is allocated to the small claims track, it is most likely that your case can go to mediation much sooner than a hearing can be arranged.

How can Your Legal Advisor Assist?

 

Your Legal Advisor has connections to highly experienced providers of Alternative Dispute Resolution services, such as:

–         Mediation

–         Expert Determination

–         Early Neutral Evaluation

We can connect you with providers of ADR services for any type of dispute, including legal costs disputes.

If you require any free advice, or our assistance with regards to any aspects of ADR, please email us at or contact us via the Contact US page and one of the team will get in touch on the same working day.

ADR Regulations and Consumer Disputes

 

The Alternative Dispute Resolution Regulations 2015 paved the way for allowing access to approved ADR provider for both traders and sellers. The regulations establish competent authorities to certify and regulate ADR schemes.These regulators will act as competent authorities. Examples of regulated authorities include:

–         Financial Ombudsman Service

–         Trading Standards

–         Ofgem

The ADR body ensures the quality and consistency of standards of the ADR services. This means more traders will be obliged by the legislation to use ADR to resolve their consumer complaints. However, it must be noted that ADR is not mandatory for all traders, except in financial services, energy and communication.

The regulations require all businesses to refer their customers to a certified ADR scheme when they are unable to resolve a consumer complaint in house. The ADR provider can attempt to either facilitate the parties to reach an agreement by mediation or look at the evidence and make a which is arbitration.

Further to this, the Regulations also implement the ODR Regulation which came into force in 2016. This allowed consumers who purchased goods or services to submit a complaint to a business based in a European country via the Online Dispute Resolution Platform.

An example of the ADR procedure in consumer disputes?

The consumer must give the trader the change to resolve the issue before lodging the complaint with the ADR body. ADR must be the last resort.

If the parties are unable to reach an agreement and exhaust all internal procedures then the trader must send the consumer the details of a certified ADR provider. If the trader refuses, the consumer can lodge the complaint with the ombudsman services. The ombudsman is a free service and often offers online dispute resolution in which they aim to answer a complaint within 90 days of receiving the file. However, the ombudsman does state the consumer needs to complain about their goods or services to the ombudsman within 6 years of the issue arising.

The consumer has 12 months from the date in which they are advised the transfer cannot resolve their issue internally and provided details of an ADR provider. If 12 months has passed, then it the ADR provider has the discretion to accept the case.

The ADR provider must respond within 3 weeks to inform the parties if they will accept the case and within 90 days, the ADR provider will facilitate an agreement between the parties or will reach a decision on the issues on behalf of the parties (depending on the parties’ preferred ADR method). In complex disputes, the provider can extend beyond 90 days. 

What are the consequences of failing to comply with the information requirements?

Failing to comply with these requirements could result in any of the following sanctions:

-Liability to Trading Standards enforcement actions

-Court Order to comply with the Regulations

– An unlimited fine

– Up to 2 years imprisonment for failure to comply with a court order.

We are here to support you

Contacting us is free. It’s our goal to put you at ease and  provide quality legal services.

4 Bark Street East, Bolton, BL1 2BQ

01204263049

info@yourlegaladvisor.co.uk

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