There has been recent news of a commitment to alternative dispute resolution by a number of the UK’s biggest companies including Tesco, Marks & Spencer, TNT and Virgin Media. The signatories agree to commit their resources to managing and resolving disputes through negotiation, mediation and other ADR processes.
Other companies such as BP, Microsoft, IBM and Shell have already made a similar commitment. This also follows the Government’s dispute resolution commitment.
The ADR Pledge was drawn up by CEDR, and it is anticipated that both lawyers who act for litigants against these companies will be consequently more likely to engage in mediation than previously, and lawyers who are on the legal panels for these companies may also need to adapt their approach to routinely encompass ADR processes.
It will be interesting to see what (if any) effect ‘taking the pledge’ will have on the approach adopted by large organisations that often rely on their size and ability to fund sizeable litigation to bat off legal claims.
The recognition od ADR as mainstream dispute Mousse between resolution processes can only be seen as a good thing however, as it supports the proposition that the word ‘alternative’ will at some point become unnecessary when talking of ADR processes.