When parties in disagreement are facing a lengthy and complicated dispute, early resolution of their case can help them avoid a protracted legal battle and reach a satisfactory resolution before costs escalate.
What is early resolution?
Early resolution is a flexible process conducted by an experienced mediator known as an early resolution neutral (ERN). It aims to resolve a dispute in the initial stages or help move beyond a disagreement that has stalled progress. The ERN, an independent third party, will discuss the case with each side separately. This can take place by telephone if necessary, to keep costs and time to a minimum. All discussions and documentation take place on a without prejudice basis, meaning they cannot later be disclosed in legal proceedings. This enables the parties to confide in the ERN, knowing that the information they share will not be passed on. The ERN will help the parties in looking at the dispute and the possible range of outcomes. He or she is also able to provide information from one side to the other, when requested and authorised, to help the parties understand their position. Alternatives to litigation can be discussed and the ERN can assist in finding a way forward and agreeing the next steps to be taken. A successful early resolution will end with the drawing up of a mutually agreed roadmap, setting out how the parties will proceed and how any remaining issues will be dealt with.
So successful is the process that it not infrequently leads to ﬁnal settlement without the need for any further steps whatever.
The advantages of seeking early resolution
Finding an acceptable solution to a dispute is generally what all parties want, rather than the lengthy and expensive litigation route. Early resolution can be particularly helpful when one party has an entrenched view of the case or when progress has not been possible because of disagreement.
The process can be initiated by a single party, with the ERN then approaching any others involved to invite them to join. By starting the resolution process as early as possible, a dispute is less likely to escalate and is usually easier to resolve satisfactorily.
The ERN will help all parties examine the possible outcomes of the dispute so that they can consider whether it is in their interests to proceed with legal action. The ERN has the chance to put alternatives to the parties and can draw up agreed next steps.
If necessary, the parties may agree via the ERN to hold a mediation. By adopting these alternatives to dispute resolution, expensive and time-consuming litigation can be avoided and the parties may even be able to resume a working relationship with each other.
Early resolution is a particularly useful tool when there are several parties involved in a dispute, or when a case is especially difficult or of high value.
By keeping things simple, costs are kept to a minimum and the parties involved are given the chance to reach a swift but fair compromise solution.
The process is flexible and the parties can have their say in suggesting how they want the ERN to deal with their case.
We are experienced in taking conflicting sides through the early resolution process and helping them reach an early agreement to avoid a protracted legal battle. We understand the importance of the right resolution for your business and we are confident that our early resolution and mediation services can bring an acceptable solution to your disagreement.
If you would like to explore whether early resolution can help you resolve a dispute, please call Lux-Mediation on 07876 232 305 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.