Information Zone - ADR, Alternative Dispute Resolution
ADR means alternative dispute resolution. It really means getting cases settled. A colossal emphasis of the English family law system is the resolution of matters without having a final court hearing.
A number of methods and models are available. Different ones will be appropriate for different clients, couples and cases including at different stages in a case. What is fundamental is that attempts are made to settle.
The traditional route and still the most used and very effective route is negotiation between lawyers on behalf of clients. Some models involve using a neutral ADR professional, who might also be a lawyer, such as orthodox mediation. Sometimes the lawyer adopts a distinctive role such as collaborative law. Some models allow the ADR professional to give a more directive input such as directive mediation, early neutral evaluation and arbitration.
This section of the website sets out information about these models and methods. The vast majority of family law disputes do not need a final court hearing. There are now many encouragements towards settling. We hope that this information helps produce more satisfactory settlements.
Arbitration in English law
This briefing note accompanies the launch on 22 February, 2012 of a family law arbitration scheme in England and Wales, of which David Hodson was one of the founders and in the first group of qualified arbitrators. The briefing note looks at the background to the scheme, the many benefits of arbitration and information about the arbitration procedure.
Download the file arbitration_in_english_law.pdf ()
So what sort of ADR is best?
This article looks at the different forms of ADR, out-of-court settlements, and analyses which are more appropriate for which cases, which stages of cases and which clients. It is accompanied by a spreadsheet setting out the advantages and disadvantages of each (see below).
Download the file ADR4.pdf ()
Accompanies the article ‘So which sort of ADR is best?’
Download the file ADROptions1_1.pdf ()
EU Mediation Directive
This article, published in International Family Law magazine (Jordans) explains in detail the EU Directive on mediation of 21 May 2008. It applies to family law. It has a three year timetable for implementation. It creates expectations that member states will encourage mediation wherever possible. It is an incredible opportunity for all family law professionals committed to ADR to bring about much-needed improvements and opportunities, both specifically in cross-border work but also in national family law work.
Download the file EU_Mediation_Directive.pdf ()
Report of the SFLA/resolution working party of February 2007 into new forms of alternative dispute resolution with a directive element, yet to be finally approved by the SFLA National Committee.
Download the file ADR_workingparty.pdf ()
Family Law Arbitration
An explanation of why England needs binding arbitration, what is arbitration and what are it’s benefits in the family law context.
Download the file arbitration.pdf ()
A new form of mediation in which the mediator is empowered to give input and direction, based on legal experience, to help the couple settle their case. The International Family Law Group undertakes all mediation but with its particular expertise and specialism, it is particulalry well placed to provide directive mediation.
Download the file directive_mediation_nlm.pdf ()
Terms of directive mediation
Terms of business for directive mediation based of the standard SFLA terms of mediation practice. Guidance is expected soon from the SFLA/resolution on the use of directive mediation but in the meantime a number of us are using these or similar terms.
Download the file terms_of_mediation.pdf ()
Early neutral evaluation
Sometimes known as private judging, this occurs when a senior lawyer give an opinion on a particular point of law, procedure or outcome, outside the court system but to encourage a resolution. It is on the joint instructions of the lawyers for the two parties. it can be open or privileged. Most often it occurs when a couple are keen to settle but cannot make progress because of a dispute and on which an opinion or evaluation by a senior lawyer might help. This article is based on the directive SDR report. The Internation Family Law GRoup with its particular areas of expertise and specialism is particulalrly wel placed to provide early neutral evaluation.
Download the file early_neutral_evaluation.pdf ()
What is collaborative law?
A new form of resolving cases without going to a final court hearing. The International Family law group undertakes collaborative law. Please contact us for more details.
Download the file collaborative_law.pdf ()
Boundaries of law and mediation
A presentation in October 2000 which looks at different professional aspects of legal representation and mediation
Download the file boundaries_mediation.pdf ()
Is this the time to negotiate; skills and opportunities
Lecture notes which differentiate that various forms of negotiation, the suitability at different stages in a professional career and at different stages in the case and negotiation skills and tactics.
Download the file negotiation.pdf ()