Forms of Dispute Resolution
Mediation is a reliable, quick, cost effective and private dispute resolution process. It ensures parties retain the authority over a dispute’s resolution and helps them find innovative solutions that can preserve commercial relationships. And if the process does not provide the answer to a dispute, the parties have not prejudiced their rights in another dispute resolution forum such as litigation.
The objective of mediation is the resolution of disputes by providing support to each party focusing on their needs and interests, as opposed to contractual rights and obligations, with the aim of reaching settlement. Mediation is different to adjudication, arbitration and litigation because the mediator does not provide the answers or impose judgment on the issues in dispute. Rather, a mediator is a qualified and experienced professional who acts as a neutral third party to help the parties find common ground and reach a settlement they can accept.
What can Blake Newport provide?
Blake Newport can advise on the suitability of mediation as a means to resolve a particular dispute. We can also provide advice about when in the dispute process would be the most suitable time to attempt mediation. Because mediation focuses on the needs and interests of the parties, mediation can often be pursued early in the dispute process well before parties have become entrenched and deadlocked. A successful early mediation means the parties will avoid the costs of preparing the evidence necessary for adjudication, arbitration or litigation. And, if an early mediation fails, mediation could be successfully attempted again later during the dispute process.
Why use Mediation?
Quick – quicker than other dispute resolution processes. Mediation can happen within a few days and should rarely take more than a single day.
Innovative Solutions – because mediation focuses on the needs and interests of the parties, there is more scope for settlements that are more than just a decision requiring the parties to carry out a contractual obligation.
Cost effective – no need for a lengthy preparation process using lawyers and consultants and can usually be carried out in a day.
Private – discussions during mediation are strictly confidential and on a without prejudice basis. Even if the mediation isn’t successful, what happened during the mediation can’t be used in another dispute resolution forum e.g. court.
Empowerment – the process is voluntary and because the parties do not give decision making responsibility to the mediator, they retain total authority over any settlement. A party won’t get stuck with an answer it can’t live with. If you have authority to negotiate a settlement, you have authority to approve a mediated settlement.
Successful – mediation has a success rate of over 80%.
Preserve Relationships – by finding a settlement based on the needs and interests of the parties, as opposed to picking a winner, it is more likely that a solution can be found that preserves and may even enhance commercial relationships.
Adjudication is a quick and cost effective formal means of settling disputes and is a mandatory provision in the majority of construction and engineering contracts.
Often, resolution of the dispute can be obtained within 28 days of submitting the claim. The speed of the procedure means that care has to be taken when drafting the claim because, unlike litigation, there may not be a further chance to refine or change the detail or to provide additional relevant information.
Blake Newport acts for clients in offering a full adjudication prosecution and defence service.
We independently analyse and quantify the risk of whether proceeding with the dispute is cost effective and can give advice on the alternative methods of resolving any dispute if adjudication proves inappropriate.
If matters proceed, we can handle the dispute in adjudication from instigation to the adjudicator’s decision, always seeking to keep costs to a minimum.
At Blake Newport we also have trained panel member adjudicators who have been employed to resolve anything from disagreements over professional fee payments to multi million pound engineering disputes.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
Alternative Dispute Resolution refers to miscellaneous methods of resolving disputes without going to court, including Arbitration and Adjudication.
Methods (not mentioned elsewhere on our website) include:
- Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE) (Early opinion on likely outcome)
- Conciliation (similar to Mediation, but the Conciliator directs parties and drives negotiations, advising on solutions and making recommendations)
- Expert Determination (Binding determination of a dispute made by an expert chosen by the Parties to a timetable decided by the Parties)
- Med-Arb (Mediation followed by Arbitration)
- Med-Rec (Mediation with recommendation made by Mediator)
- Miscellaneous ombudsman schemes in connection with, for example, estate agents, solicitors, financial services, surveyors.
Blake Newport has expertise in alternative methods of resolving disputes and can assist Clients in presenting their cases to the best advantage by providing full analysis and presentation of quantum and programming and delay issues.
Litigation & Arbitration
Blake Newport provides independent quantum forensic assistance and programming and delay analysis in the prosecution and defence of claims in Litigation and Arbitration.
We give early reasoned expert advice on quantum and programme matters, allowing parties to make an early-action risk assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of their cases and to consider the potential for alternative means of settlement.
We can work as Independent Experts or as advocate of the client’s case working alongside the client’s team in support of Experts.
We work equally well with the major law firms and counsel and smaller boutique legal practices.