Litigation vs. Alternative Dispute Resolution: Which is Right for Your Situation?

Disputes can impact many areas of life. From business deals to personal disagreements, many of us will be affected by a dispute at some stage. In some instances, legal action may be needed to resolve these disputes. However, going to court can have an emotional and financial impact, so litigation may not be the best way to resolve these disputes. Alternative dispute resolutions, such as mediation and negotiation, can serve as a much more effective way to settle disputes.

In this article, we’ll discuss the differences between litigation and alternative dispute resolution to help you decide on the most suitable solution for your needs.

What is Litigation?

Litigation, also known as dispute resolution, is the process of taking a dispute to court. ‘Disputes’ refers to disputes between both businesses and individuals and can cover contractual disputes, disagreements between a service provider and client, and other types of disputes.

The claimant will begin proceedings against a defendant by issuing a claim to the court (through a litigation solicitor). The defendant will then get the opportunity to file a response and potential counterclaims, and then evidence will be presented to the court. This is when each party will get the chance to make their arguments before a judge, who will then issue a verdict.

The litigation process can take a long time, as well as having a financial impact on both parties. Litigation can also be a stressful process, which is why other methods of dispute resolution may be preferred.

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)?

ADR is the method of resolving disputes outside of court. Common types of ADR include mediation, arbitration and negotiation.

Mediation: A third party facilitates negotiations between the two parties.

Arbitration: A third party hears evidence from both parties and issues a decision to resolve the matter.

Negotiation: A direct negotiation between the two parties to try and reach an agreement.

Seeking an ADR can help ease the financial and emotional strain that comes with litigation, to resolve disputes quickly, and without the need for a lengthy court process.

Which is the Right Solution for Your Situation?

In the UK, the majority of disputes are resolved through the ADR resolution route. In other instances, ADR may be used as a first step in trying to resolve a dispute and, if unsuccessful, litigation will be considered.

There are many factors that might impact whether litigation or alternative dispute resolution is right for you, including:

  • Time
  • Financial circumstances
  • The complexity of the issue
  • Your privacy

Every dispute is unique and, while you may want to pursue an ADR to attempt a less formal procedure, an ADR may not always be successful, leading to litigation as the next step.

An experienced litigation or ADR solicitor will be able to advise you on the best options for you based on your circumstances and the complexities of your case. They will act on your behalf as needed and ensure you get the right legal advice for your needs.

Litigation Help & Advice from Caversham Solicitors

If you’re in a dispute and need some legal advice, contact Caversham Solicitors today. We are experienced litigation solicitors specialising in commercial disputes, as well as cases amongst individuals. With a fixed-fee dispute service and legal experts you can trust, you’re in safe hands with us.

Whether you are looking for advice on commercial or land disputes, small claims or consumer issues, we can help. Contact us today to enquire about our litigation services.