Report on the use of ADR in employment disputes

The Employment Lawyers Association (ELA) has issued a report examining the potential for greater use to be made of ADR in employment disputes.

The report was prepared by an ELA working group, co-chaired by Peter Frost, partner in Herbert Smith Freehills’ employment team in London, and Paul Goulding QC.   It considers the current and potential use of various forms of ADR for resolution of different types of employment disputes, including private mediation, judicial mediation and early neutral evaluation.   It also makes recommendations for governmental consultation on potential legislative changes to encourage the greater use of ADR both at the pre-action stage and post issue of proceedings.

A copy of the report can be accessed here.


European Mediation and ADR Guide published

The International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR) has released its new European Mediation & ADR Guide, designed to assist corporates operating in Europe and beyond in taking full advantage of the range of ADR processes available to them.

Herbert Smith Freehills partner and Head of ADR Alexander Oddy led on the production of the Guide, in conjunction with Isabelle Robinet-Muguet of Orange (both members of the Executive Council of CPR's European Advisory Board)

As well as providing a valuable overview of the most widely used ADR processes in Europe, the Guide provides links to an extensive range of additional materials and practical resources for access to more in-depth information.  It will be translated into several languages over the next few months.



Singapore Mediation Centre announces new dispute resolution service

A quick and cheap dispute resolution service was announced on 2 May 2012 by the Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC). The SMC is a non-profit organisation that provides mediation and other ADR services. Under the new arrangements, parties who are unable to settle disputes but are unwilling to foot the significant legal costs of court/arbitration proceedings can opt for Neutral Evaluation. An impartial third party will deliver a legally binding decision based on the merits of the case in a confidential process. The procedure is quick – a decision can be reached in a month or less. The parties will be required to pay the neutral’s professional fees and an administrative fee ranging from SD$700 to SD$2,000. In comparison, SMC’s current mediation fee starts at SD$900 per party per day, with fees varying depending on the size of the claim.

The SMC’s current panel of neutrals includes Senior Counsel, former Supreme Court judges, and a former judicial commissioner.

Compared to litigation or arbitration, early evaluation offers parties greater flexibility and autonomy, much like mediation. However, unlike mediation and most forms of early neutral evaluation, the SMC’s neutral evaluation service results in a binding decision, and this renders if relatively unusual.