A brief guide to Alternative Dispute Resolution

Courts now actively encourage parties to consider ‘ADR’ as a means to settle their differences without having to resort to potentially costly and time-consuming court proceedings. Here is a brief guide.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) takes several forms, the following being the most common:

  • MEDIATION: a neutral third party helps the two sides work towards a mutually acceptable solution. They will often place less emphasis on the legalities than the Courts and will focus instead on the commercial / financial realities. The mediator cannot impose an agreement, but any agreement reached is legally binding.
  • ARBITRATION: commercial contracts will often specify arbitration as the mandatory first resort for resolving disputes, but you can enter into it voluntarily. An impartial third party will review the evidence and impose their decision on the two parties. Generally this is legally binding unless both parties agree otherwise – and it is enforceable through the Courts.

Advantages and disadvantages of ADR


  • The parties can choose a suitably experienced arbitrator or mediator, but cannot choose the judge in Court.
  • ADR is often faster and cheaper than litigation.
  • ADR can often resolve wider issues than the Courts can, such as grievances / misunderstandings between the parties which are not necessarily part of the claim.
  • ADR awards are confidential and legally binding.


  • ADR requires a spirit of compromise that may not be present on both sides.
  • Awards are confidential so unlike Court action you cannot use it as a public deterrent to others.
  • ADR is not useful when you need to force someone to do, or refrain from doing, something immediately.
  • Referring a case to ADR does not stop the clock on statutory time limits for bringing a case to Court.
  • ADR can increase your total costs if a resolution cannot be found.

If you would like to discuss a commercial or personal dispute and the options you have, including ADR, please get in touch.

A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, Jackie’s legal career has always relied on calmly supporting clients through processes which are unfamiliar and potentially stressful.

For over 30 years, she worked in Debt Recovery, winning awards for her handling of complex litigation and extensive experience in advising on commercial and consumer matters from pre-legal action and the issuing of proceedings, through to enforcement of Judgments, bankruptcy and winding up petitions. 

In 2017, due to the increasing demand of Verisona Law’s conveyancing services, Jackie was invited to move departments within the firm and join its Residential Property Team.

‘We are dealing with increasingly involved property matters and needed someone who had a proven track record successfully helping clients through legal processes,’ explains Danielle Allday, Head of Residential Property. ‘I was delighted when Jackie agreed give us the benefit of her expertise.’

‘I am thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to diversify my legal skills and get to work with and for a wide range of new people,’ says Jackie. ‘Whether it be matters of property, financial affairs or both, the most important thing is to provide clients with clarification, guidance and, where needed, reassurance.’

  • 1991 Debt Recovery Manager at Blake Lapthorn
  • 2003 Awarded Credit Today Litigation Specialist of the Year
  • 2011 Joined Verisona Law as Debt Recover Manager
  • 2017 Joined the Conveyancing Team at Verisona Law


  • Purchase and Sale of Residential Property, both Freehold and Leasehold.
  • Lease Extensions
  • New Builds
  • Remortgaging
  • Shared Ownership
  • Key Workers
  • Help to buy schemes
  • Acting for management companies
  • Right to manage
  • Transfer of Equity
  • Deeds of Variation or Rectification
  • Equity Release Schemes

Debt Recovery

  • Commercial and consumer claims from the issue of proceedings to Judgment
  • Enforcement of Judgments by Writ of Fi Fa, Orders to attend Court for questioning, Attachment of Earnings, Third Party Debt Orders, Charging Orders and Orders for sale
  • Bankruptcy and winding up proceedings
  • Debt purchase



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