Alternative Dispute Resolution
Courts will punish parties who do not genuinely attempt to solve the issue outside of court. Likewise if one party attempts alternative dispute resolution and the other will not engage in the discussion proactively, the party who attempted it will be awarded positively, and the party who refused to engage awarded in punitive costs.
It is therefore of paramount importance, and in your best interests, to find a willingness to engage in alternative dispute resolution.
Alternative dispute resolution should be considered early on, especially when a quantified response has been drawn up. Not only because it saves the courts time, but also it is quicker, more private, more informal and more affordable overall for the involved parties.
Independent expert determination
Both parties respect that the independent expert's opinion is binding, and final, with no right to appeal. By bringing an expert in to base a decision on their own knowledge and experience, all evidence can be considered in a bipartisan manner.
The process is named after the relevant agreement whereby the parties contractually oblige themselves to submit to the determination of an independent expert.
The Independent expert can be considered as a 'neutral'.
Early neutral evaluation
Similar to the above, except that the 'neutral' offers a persuasive argument to both parties to deliberate on. This argument is based on evidence and is non-binding, though it is persuasive because it informatively outlines how the tribunal would probably view the situation.
First off it's worth saying that a mediator cannot impose their views or opinions unless requested, nor can the decision of a mediator be imposed upon the participating parties.
Second, all parties can discuss their case freely and without prejudice, so if a settlement isn't reached through mediation, then the tribunal wouldn't use the discussion points within mediation to determine a party's position on any individual topic.
The aim is to freely encourage all the options available to each party, such that they're honed into viable courses of action.
Arbitration is covered at least in part by legislation, and in part by contract. Arbitrator's awards can be appealed, however.
If you think your dispute might qualify then it's worth considering the two below options offered by RICS.
When alternative dispute resolution fails?
Metcalfe Briggs Surveyor's sole duty is to achieve a cost effective solution for our clients, and this is very likely achieved through alternative dispute resolution.
That being said, through the very confidentiality and expediency which makes alternative dispute resolution so attractive, this course of action can turn sour. If you agree to a settlement through mediation, it can be difficult to unpick any mistakes or misrepresentations.
Unless both parties agree to waive privilege, neither can bring it out of confidentiality. Though many surveyors are reluctant to involve lawyers due to the costs, it can on occasion be the best way to find justice through procedure, with a publication of certainty alongside that.