Alternative Dispute Resolution:“Counsel’s Opinion”

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By Ed Beever, Employment Barrister

With significant numbers of Employment Tribunal hearings being adjourned due to the unprecedented working conditions we have all been placed under, it is inevitable that many of our clients – both claimants and respondents – will be very concerned about the delay to completion of their claims.

The combination of the current pandemic and the fact that most Tribunals were already struggling to clear a backlog of cases that had been waiting months to be heard is bound to push the prospect of an alternative resolution to the forefront.

In many cases, this can be achieved through mediation. At St Philips Employment, we can offer qualified mediators as well as highly experienced barristers to assist in the process and in the negotiations.

There will be times – whether due to the nature of the dispute or perhaps having regard to the economics of the case – that mediation would not be workable. Indeed, this may only be exacerbated by the challenges that remote mediation presents. St Philips Employment has been thinking about ways in which we can offer further assistance.

St Philips Employment has a number of experienced specialist barristers who have the practical knowledge, the exposure to judicial decision making and the reputation in the market place to be able to offer authoritative and reasoned opinions which can form the basis of a binding agreement between parties where joint instructions are provided.

This is alternative dispute resolution; but without the cost, inconvenience and inevitable major delays facing the tribunal system.

We can offer you a template agreement to enable a binding opinion to be offered; we can propose terms of reference (all or parts of a claim) if terms of reference cannot be agreed; we can offer flexible approaches including remote investigations. All in all, we can operative flexibly but authoritatively to help manage disputes in the current challenging environment.

 

If this interests you or if you have any queries at all, please drop our senior clerk, Gary, an email – gcarney@st-philips.com.