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Mediation, Arbitration, Motivation: The Changing Face of Civil Dispute Resolution

Whiteboard with text written on including the words mediation, dispute and negotiation

By Sam Knight, Underwriter

(Estimated reading time: 1 minute 20 seconds)

Alternative dispute resolution: it’s fast, it’s efficient and seemingly, it’s here to stay.

When the Civil Justice Council (CJC) concluded that parties could lawfully be compelled to participate in ADR in June 2021, most lawyers were sceptical. Below we share our views on this.

What the CJC were saying was directly contrary to the well-established principle in Halsey v Milton Keynes General NHS Trust [2004] EWCA Civl 576 which says that ‘it would be wrong for the court to compel’ the parties to engage in ADR (per Lord Justice Dyson at [10]).

But that decision was pre-pandemic and almost 20 years ago. The uptake and interest in ADR has increased tenfold since then, with a 16% increase in arbitration caseloads from 2019-2020 alone. A movement that seems to be gathering momentum.

It seems that ADR is here to stay and could even become compulsory for civil claims in the near future. Whether this is due to the pandemic effect, the realisation of increased technology in dispute resolution, or, as Sir Geoffrey Vos MR puts it, the fact that ‘for small claims, the parties often want a swift cost-free resolution’, it seems lawyers will need to be ready to engage in ADR more readily than ever before.

Alternative dispute resolution still carries an adverse costs risk for your clients. Temple Legal Protection can offer full adverse costs cover for ADR proceedings as well as for traditional litigation, providing the same level of protection no matter which method of dispute resolution your client is engaged in.

If you would like more information on ATE for commercial ADR proceedings, please email or call him on 01483 514428