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Dispute Resolution – what to do next

Life can sometimes get complicated. We become embroiled in all sorts of relationships, whether business or personal. We would hope that these would run smoothly and if they didn’t, we could be measured enough to resolve conflicts: if we could, then life would be simple.

Dispute Resolution - what to do next

When disputes cannot be resolved between different parties, you will need to enter some form of dispute resolution. It would be best if you tried to avoid moving straight to claims and litigation, as this can increase costs, bad feeling and your stress levels. Here are some options that could be your first step to resolution, avoiding that costly and distressing court action.


Therapy is also sometimes called conciliation. An objective and trained third-party will meet with each party separately to listen and understand the points of view being proposed.

This initial contact will aim to reduce the tension and take some of the emotion out of the dispute. The third-party will then bring the different sides together to navigate the different viewpoints and help people find some sense of calm and resolution, where they might be able to find a way through the difficulties without legal action.

In short, you do not want to enter litigation because you are angry and hope to extract some form of punishment or revenge. Litigation should be a constructive decision rather than a destructive choice. Therefore, therapy or litigation could be the perfect option.


Negotiation is a discussion between parties, which is usually facilitated by a formal structure and fixed goals. It may be that parties need initial investigation and advice before entering negotiations, and legal advice would form part of this preparation. This pre-action advice and assistance could be invaluable in preventing the negotiation from escalating to a claim or other legal action.


Mediation is similar to conciliation but with a more dynamic focus on working with the parties to find a solution. Using specialised communication techniques, a mediator will work with all parties to come to a shared understanding of how the relationship or partnership can move forward.

Mediation takes on some of the features of therapy and some of those found in negotiation. You have the independence of the mediator managing the process but with the goal of all parties being actively involved in seeking a shared solution.


Arbitration is a form of legal action, and the outcomes are therefore legally binding. The work is undertaken outside of court, and the ultimate decision will be with the arbitrator.

The results of arbitration are enforceable by courts; therefore, it is essential to be represented by a legal professional.

If you still do not have a solution

When alternative dispute resolution fails, and you still have no way forward, it may be time to enter into a claim or litigation.

This will begin with investigations and enquiries, followed by pre-action advice and assistance.

Once all information has been collected, and you have made crucial decisions with support, you then need a robust legal professional who will fight for the best possible outcome for the client.

For professional legal support with regard to dispute resolution, get in touch with one of our expert team today.

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