Our barristers are experienced advocates, appearing up and down the country in courts daily and strongly arguing their clients’ cases. However, there are many times when litigation is not the best way to resolve a dispute. Time, costs and confidentiality are important issues to many litigants. Unfortunately, court proceedings tend to be lengthy, costly and open – and high profile cases may also be quite heavily publicised particularly in the legal or trade press. There are a variety of types of alternative dispute resolution available through 5 Pump Court.
Mediation can be used for many civil and family cases and is usually a voluntary process, although in some family cases parties are required to attempt mediation before court proceedings can be started. Mediation is a confidential process in which the parties come together with a trained mediator to try to reach an agreement about how to resolve a case. Many cases are resolved within a day (albeit that it might lead to a late night!) which keeps the legal costs down and removes the risk of an adverse costs order following a trial. It is also possible to reach an agreement which is outside the parameters of what could be ordered by the court which makes it a particularly flexible solution.
Michael Collard is a trained mediator, and offers a cost-effective service in all types of civil claims but particularly those with a property or construction element where he has extensive experience.
Many members of Chambers are experienced at advising and representing clients before and during mediation, and in drafting effective settlement agreements.
Arbitration is a popular form of ADR in commercial and construction disputes and is often required by contracts in these areas. The process largely mirrors the court process in that there will be dates set down for the exchange of evidence, witness statements and (in some but not all cases) a hearing following which a binding decision will be made. The process is managed and the decision made by an trained arbitrator who is often a lawyer. The arbitrator may be chosen by the parties or, in default of agreement, by a professional body such as the Bar Council. As with mediation, the process is often quicker and cheaper than traditional litigation, and it has the added benefit of allowing parties to argue their case as they would do in court, but without any danger of publicity. It is a completely confidential process.
Kemi Ojutiku is a trained civil and commercial arbitrator, but with a background in family law which means she is particularly good at dealing with stressed clients.
Arbitration is also increasingly being used in family law proceedings. Michael Hayes is a qualified family arbitrator and draws on his extensive experience as a solicitor and barrister when deciding cases.
Many of our members are able to act as Counsel in arbitration proceedings in a wide range of civil and family cases.
Adjudication is a compulsory form of ADR which applies to certain construction contracts as set out in the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996. It is a very short process, normally of 28 days although it is possible to extend this period. The timescales are deliberately short in order to protect cash flow during construction. It is used to resolve disputes about ongoing construction projects – the work itself, the timescales for the work to be done and payment.
Michael Collard and Ivan Clarke are both experienced TECBAR adjudicators who have acted in many construction disputes and are able to act as adjudicators or advocates in adjudication proceedings.
For more information about the alternative dispute resolution services which we offer, please click here or call us on 020 7353 2532 to book one of our ADR specialists.