Isle of Man • London

An alternative to Court

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) means processes and techniques that act as a means for disagreeing parties to resolve their differences as an alternative to going to court. Perhaps the best known of these are mediation and arbitration which are referred to in more detail below.

At Simcocks we consider all of the options. We have arranged and hosted mediation and settlement sessions covering a wide variety of cases and we work with our clients to achieve objectives in the way most beneficial to their business or personal circumstances.

In recent years ADR has gained widespread acceptance.

A number of matters using ADR techniques have been more speedily concluded than if they had gone through the Courts process. It may be a more cost effective remedy than traditional litigation and it can help to reach a more flexible settlement solution than is sometimes made by the Court.

Several clients have felt an ADR solution is beneficial if there is a preference for confidentiality. There are also advantages of having a greater control over the selection of the individual or individuals who will decide a dispute.

At Simcocks we are able to assist with all types of ADR just as readily as with the more traditional approach both in civil and family matters, arbitration and collaborative law. Our team can facilitate someone who can preside as an independent mediator or arbitrator to help to try to resolve a dispute between parties who are already represented by other lawyers.

Cross-border disputes are increasingly common involving different cultures, legal systems and business concepts. They are often complex, time consuming and costly. International arbitration procedures have been designed to overcome these difficulties. Many businesses adopt arbitration provisions in their commercial agreements so possible disputes may be resolved efficiently.


Mediation is by far the most popular form of ADR - and its popularity continues to grow. There is no doubt that a successful early mediation is cheaper than litigation or arbitration, taking into account both the monetary cost and the management and potential reputational costs that may be associated with a lengthy dispute.

Mediation can be an effective way of resolving disputes without the need to go to Court. It involves using an independent third party – a mediator – who helps both sides endeavour to reach a negotiated settlement of their dispute.

Mediation is a confidential process where the terms of the negotiation are not disclosed to the Court or tribunal. If parties are unable to reach agreement, they can still go to Court.

Mediation is a non-binding process designed to get the parties together and to assist in reaching a negotiated settlement. Often mediations are successful.


Arbitration can be either voluntary or mandatory and can be either binding or non-binding. It is a process by which a third party (the arbitrator) is employed to decide the case after considering written submissions or actually conducting a private hearing with evidence being called. The identity and experience of an arbitrator can be agreed between the parties.

ADR in family matters

The main types of ADR available in family cases are mediation (similar to what is set out above but conducted slightly differently in family cases) and collaborative law - collaborative law is a relatively new process in which the lawyers and their clients enter into an agreement to negotiate a settlement without going to court. Additional information about the whole approach to family law cases can be found on the Family Law section of Simcocks website.

We are able to assist in preparing cases for all types of ADR, and we can also provide a mediator or arbitrator in cases where the parties are already represented by other lawyers.

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