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Alternative Dispute Resolution FAQs
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FAQs about dispute resolution via Resolvr by Impress.

Receiving a lawyer’s letter can be scary but there is no need to panic. If it is the first communication, it is likely a pre-action notification, meaning they are notifying you that they will commence court proceedings, should you not comply with their demands. However, before commencing proceedings, the court will expect both parties to have exchanged sufficient information to:  

  • understand each other’s position; 
  • make decisions about how to proceed; 
  • try to settle the issues without proceedings; 
  • consider a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to assist with settlement; 
  • support the efficient management of those proceedings; and 
  • reduce the costs of resolving the dispute. 

In other words, this is the perfect time to review your position and discuss ways to resolve without having to appear in court.  

 For more information, download our “Keep Calm & Resolve Your Crisis” Dispute Playbook or contact Impress for a free case assessment session.  

 Reference: https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/pd_pre-action_conduct  

Yes! Firstly, you need to fully understand your position and desired outcomes. Then you will need to reach out to the other party(s) with a pre-action notification letter, explaining this. Impress can support you to understand your options and draft the letter. Once the party(s) agree, Impress can facilitate out-of-court procedures of mediation or arbitration (depending on your preference) to get you to a resolution.

ADR, also known as an out-of-court procedure, is recognised by justice systems worldwide and is fast becoming the favoured way to resolve disputes (especially civil disagreements) thanks to its ability to come to a resolution quickly, cost-effectively and without the need to appear in court. In fact, many consider litigation to be a last resort. Prior to receiving a court hearing date, the court will review the merits of your case and simultaneously check whether the parties have investigated the option of ADR. At this stage they may direct you to ADR instead. Even if the case goes to trial, there is precedence for a judge to stop proceedings, as seen in the case Churchill vs Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council where the Master of the Rolls, Sir Geoffrey Vos confirmed thatThe court can lawfully stay existing proceedings or order the parties to engage in a non-court-based dispute resolution process

A benefit of ADR is that you can choose the structure most suitable to your circumstances. For example, arbitration provides a legally binding and enforceable judgement from an independent third party, and can even award damages, in the exact same way a judge would.

Yes! Depending on the area of law and the jurisdiction, it can take a year to 18 months for a case to go to trial in court. Thereafter, you will only find full resolution once your case has been appealed in the highest court, which could take several years. Using ADR, you will likely get to an agreed outcome in weeks (mediation) or a more formal judgement within 3-6 months (arbitration), with almost no room for appeal.

No. Impress is headquartered in the UK, which is considered the international seat of arbitration. However, depending on your requirements, you, the other party(s) and the arbitrator may choose an alternative jurisdiction under which to arbitrate. Should you engage in mediation, however, jurisdiction is not relevant and you could choose to go through the process remotely from anywhere in the world.  

 Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is well-suited for any type of civil claim. Impress specialises in media-related disputes, and particular expertise in disputes over defamation, libel, intellectual property, copyright, press intrusion, SLAPPs, public disagreements relating to social media, and various types of terms-of-service disagreements, especially those relating to online/digital services.

You can. Depending on your relationship with the other party(s) they may or may not agree. If your dispute is with a person or entity you do not have a direct relationship with, they may choose to ignore you unless you are following correct pre-action protocols. Impress can help you put yourself in the best position to reach your desired outcomes.

Unexpected disputes can drain your time and resources. Those that become public can damage your reputation, brand trust, bottom line and ability to retain customers/audience. By reviewing your processes and complaints data, updating your policies and contracts and training relevant stakeholders you can prepare for disputes and ensure that both costs and bad publicity is contained.

Strategic lawsuits against public participation or SLAPPs are legal actions typically brought by corporations or individuals with the intention of harassing, intimidating and financially or psychologically exhausting opponents via improper use of the legal system. Alternative dispute resolution is often an excellent mechanism to deter SLAPPs.

Yes! Often a SLAPP works because one party is able to intimidate another with the threat of legal action. If you can demonstrate that you understand your position and the law, and have an alternative way to resolve the case that does not involve expensive and time-consuming judicial processes, the party issuing the SLAPP will stand down. If not, engaging in Alternative Dispute Resolution will get you to a satisfactory outcome quickly and cost-effectively.

As the only independent press regulator, Impress receives hundreds of media-related complaints and enquiries every year. Since founding in 2016, Impress has operated the UK’s only recognised low-cost arbitration service for media organisations and members of the public. Our scheme was recognised in 2016 and confirmed once again in 2019 and 2022 by the Royal Charter Board, the Press Recognition Panel (PRP). To date, Impress has delivered the only (three) recognised arbitration awards for UK news publishers and the public.

FAQs about mediation via Resolvr by Impress.

If you prefer to maintain (or even attempt to improve) the relationship with the other party(s) and if you would like to work with them to come to an agreement that is suitable for all, a third-party mediator can help to facilitate that.

The entire process can be concluded within weeks. Impress will aim to appoint a mediator within 2 weeks of principle commitment and have the mediation date set within 2 weeks.

Once you are clear on your position and desired outcomes, gather all information relating to your dispute, such as documentation, screenshots of online data and whatever other evidence may be relevant. Use our ADR briefing document for guidance.

No. The outcomes of mediation form an agreement between the parties that is up to them to uphold. There are no legally binding outcomes.

FAQs about arbitration via Resolvr by Impress.

If you prefer an independent third party (who is an expert in your relevant area of law) to hear both sides and issue a judgement, either public or private, that is legally binding on all parties.

The arbitrator will aim to conclude proceedings within 3 months without a hearing, or a maximum of 6 months if hearings are required.

Once you are clear on your position and desired outcomes, gather all information relating to your dispute, such as documentation, screenshots of online data and whatever other evidence may be relevant. Use our ADR briefing document for guidance.

Yes. Arbitration is a legally recognized process, similar to going to court. Judgements issued by the arbitrator are legally binding.

FAQs about dispute packages via RiskResolvr+ by Impress.

Yes! Updating your policies and procedures, reviewing your complaint and dispute history, training your team and updating your contracts to include a clause for alternative dispute resolution can reduce your risk and ensure that you are keeping costs to a minimum while maintaining your brand and customer loyalty. Use our Risk Assessment Workbook to help you reduce your exposure.

Fighting in court can pose significant risks financially, operationally and psychologically. Disputes that become public can damage brand trust, lead to customer attrition and even reduce profit or share price. Use our Risk Assessment Workbook to help you reduce your exposure.

FAQs about pricing for Resolvr by Impress.

This depends on your type of dispute and the outcomes required. Fees for mediation start at £ per party and for arbitration at £ per party. Please see our pricing page here for details. 

Winning is not guaranteed, using either process. Fighting your case in court will, in some cases, have a higher ceiling for damages and cost awards, however, legal fees are much higher as well. For example, the Jackson Review on civil litigation found that for the average privacy case, claimant costs were on average 296% of damages, and defendant costs were on average 209% of damages. This means that even if you win, your legal fees are likely to be 2-3x more than your damage awards and you will end up in deficit.

Using Alternative Dispute Resolution, the awards can be lower but the costs are a fraction of going to court, so you are more likely to end up cash-positive.

Yes! As a non-profit, Community Interest Company ourselves, Impress chooses to support other organisations who work towards the betterment of society and our planet. Contact us to discuss further.

FAQs about outcomes and rewards for alternative dispute resolution via Resolvr by Impress.

Depending on your case, you may ask for an agreement to change behaviour, an apology, a form of compensation or all of the above.  

In most disputes, the parties have differing opinions on what is right and what they are entitled to. Often an outcome ends up being somewhere in the middle ground and therefore may not be exactly what you had envisioned. Keep in mind that out-of-court dispute resolution allows a greater degree of control and input, so you are much more likely to get to an outcome that is satisfactory for you (as opposed to court, where the process and outcomes are completely out of your hands).  

If you opt for arbitration, the arbitrator has the power to award damages, the same way a judge would.

Yes: if you opt for arbitration, the outcomes can be legally binding in the same way as going to court.

Yes: proceedings will happen in private and, should all parties acquiesce, the agreed terms and details of the outcomes can remain confidential.

FAQs about litigation and legal proceedings for alternative dispute resolution via Resolvr by Impress.

Strategic lawsuits against public participation or SLAPPs are legal actions typically brought by corporations or individuals with the intention of harassing, intimidating and financially or psychologically exhausting opponents via improper use of the legal system. Alternative dispute resolution is often an excellent mechanism to deter SLAPPs.

No. The alternative dispute resolution process is designed to be more accessible than court and to allow parties to reach a resolution without the need for a court, lawyers or legal proceedings. Should you wish to retain a lawyer for additional support and your own peace of mind, you are welcome to do so but it is by no means necessary.

You can. Keep in mind that legal advice is no guarantee. It is an opinion from a lawyer based on the facts as they understand them at that moment. If you follow their advice, it may or may not get you to your desired outcome. The way you choose to proceed is still your decision and you will need to take responsibility for how this unfolds. Impress can support you by helping to explain your options and giving you guidance so that you can make decisions that position you to achieve a satisfactory outcome, without the need for costly legal advice or litigation.  

Yes! Inhouse counsel will likely also wish to reduce costs and resolve certain disputes as quickly as possible. In addition, they may wish to take advantage of specific expertise or ensure that a trusted independent body is on hand.