Dispute Resolution and Litigation Solicitors

Is dispute resolution the same as litigation?

No, but they do have similarities. Litigation settles a dispute in court. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) consists of mediation and arbitration that doe not require a court judge to resolve the matter. There are many solicitors that can act as mediators to help guide two parties to an amicable resolution.

“Dispute resolution” refers to the process or processes followed in bringing together parties that are in disagreement. There are several dispute resolution mechanisms that can be taken to resolve disagreements. Dispute resolution can either be done in a court of law through litigation or out-of-court through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms.

Dispute resolution in court

If the parties involved in a dispute cannot come to an agreement out of the court, the easiest way to solve the dispute is through the arbitration of the courts through a process known as litigation.

In litigation, the aggrieved party usually hires a lawyer who then files the requisite court documents in the appropriate court district. Once the case is mentioned before a judge, the court usually has a jury that is mandated to listen to the arguments of both parties (plaintiff and defendant) before coming up with a ruling on the case. When a dispute is resolved through litigation, there is only usually one winner. The winner is usually the party who provides the strongest argument to back up their case in the eyes of either the judge or jury panel.

Alternative dispute resolution mechanisms

ADRs are methods of resolving a dispute that does not require either of the parties in a case to go before a court of law. In all instances, ADRs are usually in place to provide a framework for the interested parties in a case to resolve their duties amicably without involving the courts.

Types of ADRs


Negotiation is an informal method of resolving disputes. Under this method, aggrieved parties usually identify the issue bringing an impasse in their dealings and then find a way to resolve the issue through talking.

One of the biggest benefits of negotiation as a way of resolving disputes is that it gives both parties a lot of flexibility in resolving their outstanding issues.

Note that for negotiation to work, both parties have to agree to be available to discuss the issue that needs fixing, be honest, and, they also need to approach the issue at hand with a lot of transparency.


When resolving disputes through mediation, the parties tussling over an issue usually look for a NEUTRAL third party (mediator) to facilitate the talks on how to resolve the standoff at hand.

Mediation can either be done formally or informally.

In informal mediation, both parties can settle on a mediator that they both know for example a friend or trusted advisor to facilitate the talks especially when it comes to matters pertaining to family law.

In formal mediation, both parties can settle on a professional third party who has the training on how to negotiate settlements between feuding parties.

When resolving a dispute through mediation, it is important to hire a mediator who brings some form of expertise that can help in settling the issue at hand. Further, the mediator must be neutral in the dispute since their work is not to determine who is right or wrong rather their work is to help both parties find a solution that is mutually acceptable to all.


Arbitration as a method of dispute resolution works more like litigation except that the proceedings are more flexible than litigation. The arbitration process is usually handled by an individual who is agreeable to both parties. Both parties usually set rules for the arbitration process and both commit to abide by the decision made by the arbitrator.

Private judging

Under this form of dispute resolution, both parties usually give permission for a professional who is an expert on matters relating to the dispute at hand to resolve the outstanding issue. Examples of professionals who can be engaged include a former judge or lawyer.

On listening to the issue at hand, the professional handling the matter usually renders a judgement that is legally binding to both parties.

Choosing a dispute resolution mechanism

Some of the considerations you should keep in mind when choosing a dispute resolution mechanism include:

  • Time
  • Cost
  • Confidentiality of the matter at hand
  • Need to retain relationships

Dispute resolution can help with property disputes, and family or business issues.

For any information relating to our services please give us a call and we will be very happy to help.

We can be contacted 24 hours a day.

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Davidson House
Forbury Square,
Reading, Berkshire,
0118 914 5622

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    We can be contacted 24 hours a day.
    Our Reading Head Office address is:

    Davidson House
    Forbury Square
    RG1 3EU
    0118 914 5622
    07850 952245