Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co

UK 200 2013 position: 25

Refusing to mediate? A brave decision…

By Adam Strong

It is a well-established principle that serious cost consequences may flow from an unreasonable refusal to engage in alternative dispute resolution (ADR). If further support was needed for this principle, it has come in the case of Phillip Garritt-Critchley & Others v Andrew Ronnan & Solarpower PV Ltd [2014].

In this case, HHJ Waksman QC, sitting in the Chancery Division of the Manchester District Registry, allowed the claimants to recover their costs on an indemnity basis as a result of the defendants’ unreasonable refusals to mediate.

The message is clear: while the court cannot order parties to participate in mediation, refusing to engage in mediation will be a high-risk strategy, even if the party in question believes it has a very strong claim or defence…

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