Alternative dispute resolution or ADR for short, usually describes a dispute resolution method where an independent person (an ADR practitioner, such as a mediator) helps people in dispute to try to sort out the issues between them.
ADR can help people to resolve a dispute before it becomes so big that a court or tribunal becomes involved.
ADR can be very flexible and can be used for almost any kind of dispute; even those that would never go to a court or tribunal.
The behaviour of some ADR practitioners is regulated by standards and guidelines set by ADR professional organisations.
You can and should expect your ADR practitioner to be:
Flexibility – ADR processes can be flexible, because the process can be made to suit your particular dispute. Court processes are generally less flexible.
Privacy and confidentiality – ADR processes and outcomes are usually private and confidential. Hearings and decisions of courts and tribunals (including the reasons for the decision) are usually public.
Self-directed – In an ADR process you and the other people involved usually choose who the ADR practitioner is. You can also agree about some of the things the ADR practitioner can do. When you use a court or tribunal, a decision-maker (such as a judge) is appointed for you. What the decisionmaker can do is based on the law. In an ADR process you and the other people involved decide on the outcome of the process. Courts and tribunals usually control the outcomes of court and tribunal processes.
Costs – ADR processes can be less expensive than other ways of resolving your dispute. Going to a court can be very expensive. Tribunals can be less expensive but can still involve hearings and legal costs if you are represented. There are also costs in time and effort to think about.
Less formality – ADR processes can be informal. Court and tribunal hearings can be very formal.
ADR processes may assist the parties involved in the dispute to maintain relationships.
Medical practitioners will claim that prevention is better than the cure! This thinking should be applied when it comes to adopting an attitude towards disputes. In this regard, preparing well-conceived, plans, agreements and contracts may help parties avoid a dispute down the track.
However, sometimes disputes do arise. The first step usually should be a negotiation between the disputing parties. Negotiation does not require a third person to help resolve the dispute, although parties in a dispute may benefit from obtaining legal advice and having lawyers stay in the ‘background’ as part of a direct negotiation process.
Not every dispute needs to be resolved by a court or tribunal. ADR methods need not be mutually exclusive from a formal court process being initiated by one of the parties involved in the dispute. Below is a non-exhaustive list of different ADR methods:
The most prominent professional arbitration and mediation institutions in Australia include the following bodies:
AVG Forensic has experience in all 5 of the above-listed ADR methods. As we understand and worked in these ADR processes, we can adopt our style to accommodate the party’s objectives for using ADR, although we aim to deliver the same quality of advice and expert opinions as if we were giving evidence in court.
How we help
We deliver high quality expert advice and reports on forensic accounting and business valuation issues.
Phone: +61 2 8188 4889
Level 57, 19-29 Martin Place
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: +61 3 8658 4278
Level 40, 140 William Street
Melbourne VIC 3000