We regularly represent parties in mediations, and advise parties in disputes. Our experts may assist parties in deciding whether to agree to mediation and when a mediation should take place. We will help parties find and appoint commercial mediators, and advise about the mediation process itself. Our lawyers routinely prepare case summaries for mediation, and offer strategic advice about dispute resolution and the relative cost benefits of settlement or further action. At the mediation, our lawyers may represent a party and act as their advocates during the process. Our aim is to help parties in dispute engage in constructive negotiations towards settlement. Some of our lawyers act as mediators, or are specialists in other forms of alternative dispute resolution.
ACTING AS MEDIATORS
We act in commercial mediations involving disputes of all sorts, including, commercial contracts; company, shareholder or partnership agreements; construction contracts, interim and final accounts; damages and extensions of time; defective products; materials specification, product supply; franchise and agency agreements; IT systems’ performance; landlord and tenant disputes; mechanical and electrical engineering; town planning; professional negligence and property. Mediation of commercial disputes may take many forms. Traditionally a mediation takes place over a day, or half a day. However, our mediators can be flexible. It may be more appropriate for the mediation to take place in short stages over several weeks. Our experts will help to set up whichever format works best for the parties in dispute.
ACTING AS ‘EVALUATORS’
Sometime parties in dispute want to avoid the high cost of going to Court or arbitration. For example, parties may want to keep their disputes private, or may wish to maintain cordial business relations. So instead, parties may agree to Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE) in which a neutral ‘evaluator’ gives a non-binding opinion about the issues in dispute. Our expert lawyers, by agreement of all parties in dispute, may act as evaluators. ENE seems to be increasingly popular. Even high value commercial disputes may be settled quickly at relatively low cost, with the benefit of an evaluator’s opinion. Mediation in commercial disputes may be followed by ENE where all parties agree the process from the outset.
ACTING AS ‘ADJUDICATORS’ OR IN OTHER FORMS OF ADR
Expert lawyers in our Construction Team accept appointments as ‘adjudicators’ in construction disputes under the Housing Grants (Construction and Regeneration) Act 1996 (as amended). Our Construction and Dispute Resolution Teams also advise clients involved in adjudication and arbitration. For more information about adjudication, arbitration of construction disputes, and other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) please contact us.
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