An expert on what is commonly known as alternative dispute resolution (ADR) has claimed that it is it is becoming increasingly favoured by the litigation solicitor and that a more appropriate term for such methods may now be advanced
ADR cuts costs of using a litigation solicitor
Karl Mackie is Chief Executive of the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) and points to the fact that his organisation has just handled its 15,000th dispute from a litigation solicitor as evidence of the increased favouring of such methods over the traditional route of court.
ADR has been available to litigation solicitors since 1990 and encompasses methods including mediation and arbitration as means for resolving disputes. Litigation solicitors in support of adopting such approaches argue that they are faster, cheaper, less stressful and less public than going to court.
The government has registered its support through its ADR pledge that saw litigation solicitors refer 374 public sector cases to the CEDR last year, 72% of which were successfully settled. This represents an increased use of a quarter on the previous year and is estimated to have saved £26.3 million in the costs of using a litigation solicitor.
Litigation solicitors can still do more
However, it appears there is still room for further take-up of ADR methods by litigation solicitors. In his report on cutting litigation costs, Lord Justice Jackson warned that there was not enough awareness of the advantages of ADR among those using a litigation solicitor. The Master of the Rolls, Sir Anthony Clarke, has meanwhile called for litigation solicitors to apply greater pressure for an explanation from parties who refuse the option of mediation.
When consulting a litigation solicitor it is worth enquiring about whether the use of ADR would be appropriate in your case.
The CEDR works with litigation solicitors involving cases in the public and commercial sector as well in civil disputes.