Alternative Dispute Resolution: Avoiding Courtroom Battles

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) encompasses a range of methods for settling disputes without the need for the parties to go to court. These include negotiation, mediation and arbitration.

Courts are increasingly insisting that parties should attempt ADR first or risk being penalised later on.

ADR can be a quicker, cheaper, more flexible and informal method of settling disputes in many fields, from commercial contracts (where it may be vital to maintain a business relationship) to boundary disputes (where freedom to negotiate can result in a settlement that is acceptable to both parties).

It is increasingly common to specify ADR in any contract as the first port of call in a dispute and parties frequently use ADR either before or during court proceedings to help narrow issues and find common ground.

ADR has real teeth in some situations, with parties legally bound by the agreement reached. Courts too will take a dim view of a party that could have settled a dispute through ADR but unreasonably refused. That said, the process is largely voluntary and discussions are confidential, ‘without prejudice’ and off the record until a judge decides who has won or lost.

ADR is now a vital step in any dispute, not just an attractive option. It provides genuine opportunities to settle your dispute proportionately and without the formality, cost and delays of court proceedings.

Verisona Law offers ADR and ADR representation as part of its services. If you would like to discuss this or your commercial dispute more generally, please contact us. 


Robert has a broad commercial practice and has handled thousands of disputes relating to many commercial activities and industry sectors. He has acted in claims ranging from a few thousand pounds to several million, including cases where the commercial implications of the dispute carry a greater value than the dispute itself.

Applying negotiation, mediation and litigation as appropriate, Robert is well-known for his tenacious yet pragmatic approach to getting the best results for clients, while managing the risks and costs.

Robert Joined Gray Purdue in 2000, initially on a secondment from a client company. The opportunity to bridge the gap between lawyer and client gave Robert an insight into settling disputes and he seized the opportunity to join the firm full-time and progress through a series of qualifications whilst managing a diverse caseload of disputes, culminating in his admission as a solicitor.

After Gray Purdue merged with another firm to form Verisona Law in 2008, Robert relocated to the firm's Lakeside office and developed the firm's Commercial Dispute Resolution practice. In 2013 Robert was appointed as a director of the firm and now heads the Commercial Dispute Resolution team and oversees the various litigation teams across the firm. 

Protecting and preserving business interests:

  • Enforcing, terminating and recovery under contracts and agreements
  • resolving disputes including contractual obligations and statutory or commonlaw duties duties
  • Protecting brands, Intellectual Property and goodwill
  • Protecting confidential information and trade secrets
  • Protecting online and digital activities
  • Recovery of money, property and assets
  • Urgent relief including court applications, injunctions, freezing orders and search orders
  • Mediation, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution

Professional Negligence:

  • Including bringing and defending claims against:
    • Architects
    • Solicitors
    • Surveyors
    • Accountants, and
    • Directors

for breach of professional, fiduciary and statutory duties.

Land and Property:

  • Boundary disputes
  • Dilapidations claims
  • Actions against trespassers
  • Forfeiture of leases and recovery of property
  • Recovery by distraint

Insolvency:

  • Pursuing and defending claims on behalf of and against Liquidators and Administrators
  • Strategic advice  on merits, legal and tactical issues
  • Asset tracing and recovery
  • Claims against directors

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