What we do: alternative dispute resolution solicitors
We advise businesses across a range of sectors on all types of ADR. We use the various dispute resolution procedures available to help clients put commercial disputes behind them in a pragmatic and efficient manner. Briefly, ADR encompasses:
- Negotiation – Straightforward discussions, held on the basis that whatever is said in negotiations can’t later be used in court by one side against the other (‘without prejudice’), can often lead to agreement, avoiding the need for court action or other form of dispute resolution.
- Adjudication – Commonly used to resolve disputes in the construction industry, adjudication allows parties to find a quick solution (usually within 28 days) to an issue that is disrupting a live project such as a building development. The decision of the adjudicator is binding and enables commercial projects to continue without the distraction of the dispute. But the decision may be later challenged through arbitration or court proceedings.
- Mediation – Voluntary commercial mediation allows parties in dispute to discuss issues before an independent mediator and to try to negotiate a settlement.
- Early neutral evaluation – Involves an independent expert, often a retired judge, making an objective assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of each side’s case. The evaluation can’t be used in any future court case. Instead, because it gives each side a realistic idea of how they may fare in any litigation, the assessment is used to encourage settlement.
- Expert determination – This form of ADR is useful when the dispute centres on a highly technical issue such as a market valuation of a particular type of property. An independent expert reaches a decision on the issue and this is binding on the parties.
You can find out more details of the various ADR methods we regularly use in our Advice Centre.
And, if ADR isn’t suitable for your business dispute, or an agreement can’t be reached through these methods, you can also use our arbitration and litigation services.
Who we help: SMEs, start-ups and venture-backed enterprises
Our clients range from large, established companies to small and medium-sized enterprises, start-ups and investment-backed businesses. They are drawn from a range of industry sectors, including technology, retail, manufacturing and the public sector.
We mentioned above that sometimes businesses are legally obliged to attempt some form of ADR before beginning court proceedings. Even when it’s not a legal requirement, courts encourage parties to try ADR. Ultimately a judge has the power to sanction a party that refuses to engage in ADR with a negative cost order if the matter does result in fully-fledged litigation.
As a result we will always explain the benefits of ADR to our clients and encourage its use. We’ll look carefully at your position and what your expectations are before advising you on the most appropriate form of ADR.
Why use our alternative dispute resolution solicitors?
Our commercial ADR solicitors combine technical legal knowledge with the tactical understanding that’s essential to get the best results from ADR. Each member of the team has worked at a senior level within UK top 100 law firms, or in-house for international corporations. We are confident that the service we offer to businesses involved in commercial disputes and who wish to avoid court is among the best out there.
Find out more about our ADR solicitors here:
Partner & Dispute Resolution Solicitor
Ashley is a litigator, arbitrator and mediator with 30 years experience handling UK and international business disputes.View profile
Dispute Resolution Partner
Ian joined our dispute resolution team in 2016 and has over 20 years of experience in handling a broad range of commercial disputes.View profile
Dispute Resolution Solicitor
Simon is a very experienced dispute resolution solicitor and has worked in private litigation practice for over 20 years.View profile
Dispute Resolution Solicitor
Mark previously worked at Freeths LLP and Nabarro (which became CMS) prior to joining Harper James. His areas of expertise include complex contractual disputes, public procurement challenges, IT/Outsourcing & reputational managementView profile
Our three transparent pricing packages are designed to give you the widest possible access to high-quality legal advice, whatever the size and nature of your business:
Straightforward access to senior solicitors at a competitive rate.
An affordable solution for businesses needing one-off legal support. Receive ‘City’ partner-level expertise at a fraction of ‘City’ prices.
Have legal peace of mind for £189 per month with additional support from £99 per hour.
A monthly subscription legal support package specifically designed for start-ups and smaller businesses.
For businesses requiring 60+ hours of support a year, with prices equivalent to £99 per hour.
Fully account managed quarterly subscription service for businesses with more complex legal needs.