Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)


Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) are becoming increasingly popular in England and Wales as a way of resolving commercial disputes. In fact, Courts in England and Wales encourage the use of mediation for cases with a value of less than £10,000. The Courts provide a free Small Claims Mediation Service.

Mediation can be an effective way of resolving disputes outside of court in England and Wales. Understanding these options is important for businesses in order to resolve disputes quickly and minimise legal costs. This blog provides an overview of mediation and ADR, as well as their benefits, and how they can be incorporated into contracts and agreements.

What Is A Mediation?

Mediation is a form of dispute resolution where a neutral third party, called a mediator, assists parties in reaching a settlement. The process is voluntary, confidential, and flexible. Mediation is often less time-consuming and less expensive than traditional litigation.

The mediation process involves the following steps:

  • The parties select a mediator who is an experienced solicitor, barrister, or from another professional.
  • The mediation can be carried out by video call, or face-to-face at a neutral venue, and the mediation usually takes 1 full day.
  • The mediator facilitates discussions between the parties to identify areas of agreement and disagreement.
  • The parties work towards a mutually acceptable settlement including payment of legal costs.

What Types of Disputes Are Suitable for Mediation?

Mediation is suitable for many types of disputes, including:

Mediation is particularly effective for disputes where parties want to preserve their business relationship or want to avoid the costs and risks of litigation.

What Are The Main Types of Mediation?

ADR procedures fall into four categories: –

  • Arbitration: A process in which an arbitrator or panel of arbitrators is appointed to make a binding decision on a dispute. The decision is usually based on the evidence presented by the parties.
  • Mediation: A process in which a neutral third party helps parties in a dispute to negotiate a settlement that is acceptable to all parties. The mediator does not have the power to make a binding decision.
  • Expert determination: A process in which an expert is appointed to make a decision on a specific issue in a dispute. The decision is usually binding and is based on the expert’s knowledge and expertise.
  • Adjudication: A process in which an adjudicator is appointed to make a binding decision on a dispute. The decision is usually based on evidence presented by the parties, but may also take into account the adjudicator’s own expertise and judgment.

What Are The Benefits of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)?

ADR refers to any method of resolving disputes outside of court, including mediation, arbitration, adjudication and private calls/ correspondence between solicitors called ‘without prejudice communication’.

ADR can be quicker, more cost-effective, and less adversarial than traditional litigation. Some benefits of ADR include:

  • Flexibility in the process and outcomes.
  • Cost effective.
  • Confidentiality of the name of parties and terms of settlement.

How Can I Make Mediation and ADR Mandatory?

Mediation and ADR should be incorporated as a compulsory clause into contracts and agreements for businesses. For example, a dispute resolution clause can specify that parties must attempt mediation before starting legal proceedings.

Mediation and ADR are effective ways of resolving commercial disputes in England and Wales. They offer a range of benefits, including cost savings, confidentiality, and preservation of relationships.

If you’re facing a commercial dispute, consider mediation or ADR as a viable alternative to traditional litigation. Seek professional advice and guidance to ensure the best outcome for your business.

Contact Us

To discuss mediating a dispute, book a Consultation Call with the team at Anwar Legal by completing the Contact Us Form or email us on

Still not convinced? Read some of our business client’s success stories and testimonials on how they settled their business disputes using our legal service.

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