As this Government has recognised, litigation can often prove costly and inefficient. The Ministry of Justice announced in 2015 that it would like to see resource savings of 15% by 2019-2020 by ‘delivering efficiencies’ in the courts system ; this will inevitably require the optimisation of some court resources. ADR continues to become an increasingly respected and standardised form of dispute resolution.
However, many still do not know that it is even an option; the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) found recently that only 5.5% of its members knew what it was. Recognising the helpful role that ADR has to play alongside a newly reformed, more efficient UK legal system, the Conservative MP Alberto Costa recently observed that ‘people are still wedded to the court system’, and that ADR clauses should be included in contracts drawn up by lawyers as standard.
Particularly for businesses, ADR is becoming increasingly tailored, with schemes such as CIArb’s recently announced Business Arbitration Scheme (BAS), and is more suited than ever to support SMEs. However, more widely, ADR has the ability to reduce reliance on courts across the board, and fundamentally shift control back into the hands of individuals and companies.
Anthony Abrahams - Director General, CIArb
Chantal-Aimée Doerries - QC Chairman of the Bar of England and Wales
Sir Oliver Heald QC MP - Minister of State of Justice
John Howell OBE MP - Member of Parliament for the Henley
Michael Stephens - Barrister, Arbitrator, Mediator and Adjudicator, Kings Chambers