Time to be reasonable: engage with your opponent
A decision in a recent case further exhorts disputing parties and their lawyers to treat seriously any request to take part in alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Following its repeated and unreasonable refusal to engage in mediation, the defendant in Phillip Garritt-Critchley & others v Andrew Ronnan & Solarpower PV Ltd  (PGF) was ordered to pay the claimant’s costs on an indemnity basis.
This decision follows on from the PGF case earlier this year, in which the court decided that ignoring a request to participate in ADR such as mediation amounted to unreasonable behaviour.
It remains the case that a court cannot force an unwilling party to mediate — but those who refuse unreasonably will find themselves penalised in costs. It’s time to be reasonable. Even if you think you have a cast-iron case and believe your relationship with the other party to be beyond repair, you must seriously consider — and engage in — ADR…
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