Mediation, Expert Determination and Arbitration

We recognise the advantages to clients of resolving disputes outside of conventional Court-based litigation. We therefore combine wide-ranging practical and technical expertise to provide cost-effective and creative solutions for clients. We advise on the following methods of dispute resolution:

Negotiation

Changing the point of negotiation can often be effective. For example, if a trading relationship has broken down, opening another channel of communication through solicitors can prove a successful way of resolving a dispute. Alternatively, if a dispute is unavoidable, a commercial client is best advised to prepare by having us advise on correspondence, setting out the client's view of the issues in dispute, before the actual dispute happens.

Mediation

Mediation is gaining an increased currency as a dispute resolution method, supported by recent Irish legislative developments.

We routinely advise clients on Mediation and represent clients at Mediation hearings. Our Partners in this area are at the forefront of practice bodies dedicated to promoting Mediation as an effective method of resolving disputes. Four A&L Goodbody partners are accredited by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) as Mediators. We host regular Mediation training courses conducted by CEDR. CEDR is one of the leading UK alternative dispute resolution organisations.

Expert Determination

We regularly counsel clients on the advantages of seeking to have a dispute resolved through Expert Determination. This process involves the parties to a dispute agreeing to appoint an expert in a particular field to adjudicate. This process can be particularly useful in disputes involving technical or esoteric issues.

Mediation is becoming increasingly common as an effective dispute resolution method, particularly as solicitors are required by law to advise claimants of the potential benefits of mediation before issuing higher value legal proceedings.

We routinely represent clients at mediation hearings and a number of A&L Goodbody partners are mediators accredited by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR), one of the leading UK alternative dispute resolution organisations. This experience, combined with our willingness to meaningfully engage with the mediation process regularly leads to timely and favourable outcomes for our clients.

Expert determination involves the parties to a dispute agreeing to appoint a subject-matter expert to adjudicate on a dispute. It is often prescribed as a dispute resolution mechanism in contracts, where the parties agree at the outset of a commercial relationship that they do not want to end up in litigation in the event of a dispute. In other situations, we advise parties on the merits of this dispute resolution process, which can be particularly useful in disputes involving technical or niche issues.

We also have experience of designing bespoke dispute resolution solutions for clients. For example, the creation of expert adjudication panels of independent persons to determine complaints. This can be particularly useful in dealing with a high volume of complaints which are broadly similar in nature. Such innovative solutions allow the fair and independent determination of complaints and tend to be more efficient and cost-effective than traditional litigation processes.

We have considerable expertise in both domestic and international arbitration law and are widely acknowledged as a leader in this field. Our team has experience of arbitrations conducted under all major institutional rules.

Under Irish law, the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration applies to all arbitrations which take place within the State, while still allowing scope for individuals and businesses who are parties to international contracts to vary the terms of the arbitration clauses in their contracts to best suit their individual needs. This makes Ireland an ideal location for the resolution of disputes through arbitration and our team can expertly guide you through the process. Arbitrations are particularly common in Construction and Infrastructure disputes and we have a dedicated page with further details, here.

Experience

  • Financial institutions

    on the successful mediation of a number of customer complaints

  • Real estate development company

    on the successful tripartite mediation of injunctive proceedings allowing the client to proceed with plans for a large commercial development

  • Large investment bank

    on the mediation of a professional negligence claim, which was resolved successfully

  • Acting as mediator

    in a wide variety of disputes including disputes regarding termination of technology contracts; earn-out provisions of share purchase agreements and post-sale warranty claims arising

  • Designing an independent review process

    to address customer complaints for a number of Irish financial institutions in consultation with the regulator.

  • Irish financial institution

    on the successful expert determination of a €20 million claim arising from a loan portfolio sale.