Alternative Dispute Resolution
How can Lovetts Solicitors resolve your disputed debt?
Lengthy litigation is to be avoided. Our Commercial Litigation team are experts in concluding and resolving any disputed debt quickly and cost-effectively.
How do we do this? If your case is strong we will make a Summary Judgment application in response to a defence to your claim. If Summary Judgment is not appropriate, we will utilise Alternative Dispute Resolution (known as ADR). ADR is becoming increasingly important in the modern legal world. Judges are increasingly favouring dispute resolution early on in the process in an attempt to try to resolve disputes without the cost and inconvenience of full-blown litigation.
At Lovetts we have significant experience in using mediation, adjudication and arbitration to settle disputes. Full details are provided below.
An application for summary judgment can be made to the Court to request the summary disposal of your claim and judgment against your debtor. This application is required to be supported by a witness statement explaining the facts of the case and why it should be dealt with on a summary basis.
For an application for summary judgment to be successful the Court must be persuaded that the Defence has no real prospect of successfully defending the claim and that there is no other compelling reason why the case should be disposed of at trial.
In certain instances, therefore, it may make sense to opt for summary judgment. It is a quicker and more cost effective route with a hearing usually taking place within 12 weeks (depending on the Court) rather than 12 – 24 months to get to trial.
It also means that you do not need to provide witness evidence in person at Court which can be a daunting prospect to some claimants.
If a summary judgment application is not granted then the matter will continue to proceed as a normal defended action and will then at that stage go to trial.
Mediation is a voluntary process by which an independent third party is appointed to assist in resolving disputes between the parties with a view to facilitating settlement.
Mediation is often used as a form of alternative dispute resolution.
Typically a mediator will be provided with statements from both parties ahead of the mediation appointment setting out their respective positions. The mediator will then go back and forth between the parties to try and narrow any issues in dispute and reach a resolution.
If a resolution is reached then a settlement agreement or consent order will be prepared binding the parties to the same.
Arbitration is a non-judicial process for the settlement of disputes where an independent third party makes a decision that is binding upon the parties to a dispute.
An arbitrator will act in a similar way to a Judge although the arbitrator will usually be an expert and the procedures will be less formal. The arbitrator can be chosen by the parties for their particular expertise.
A decision is reached by an arbitrator either on a documents only basis, or following hearings that take place at an agreed venue.
The process is confidential and is usually a quicker and more cost effective process than taking the matter through County Court proceedings.
However, there are limited grounds of appeal and any award would need to be enforced through the Court.
Adjudication is the means of providing a resolution for a disputed claim. The parties will appoint an adjudicator to deal with the dispute and a timetable will then be set. The decision of the adjudicator is binding and the adjudicator can make an award in respect of legal costs to the successful party, unless the terms of the contract prevent this.
Adjudication is primarily used for construction disputes as it is a compulsory method of resolving disputes for contracts which fall under the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996. Parties to a contract which is subject to the Construction Act 1996 can also refer a dispute to adjudication where the dispute has crystallised.
The adjudication process usually resolves disputes via a 28 day procedure and therefore will bring a much swifter conclusion than County Court proceedings.