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Litigation and ADR Contrasted

A crucial distinction between litigation and ADR is that whilst many legal practitioners engage in ADR processes, there is no legal or professional requirement for either the ADR practitioner or for party representatives at ADR processes to be legally qualified or to be members of legal professions such as the bar or the law society. Many of those who engage in ADR practice are first and foremost experts in particular fields such as architects, builders, civil engineers, mariners, scientists and social workers, albeit with a thorough understanding of ADR processes and some knowledge and understanding of law. In house legal experts in large corporate organisations can take part in the entire ADR process without engaging professional lawyers thus cutting costs further, both in terms of time lost through communicating with the professionals and in respect of legal fees and costs.

It is also the practical knowledge and understanding of industry and commerce which assures the parties to ADR processes that the people responsible for settling their dispute or assisting them to reach a settlement understand their business and their concerns. It further assures them that the outcome will not be based purely on legal technicalities but will take into account commercial practicalities and technical details which lawyers may not fully comprehend.


 
     
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