Conference finds ADR a hit with top lawyers

THE USE of mediation leads to the immediate settlement of 90 per cent of disputes in which it is used, a conference of senior litigation lawyers was told last week.

Professor Karl Mackie, chief executive of the Centre for Dispute Resolution, claimed many of the remaining 10 per cent were resolved soon after mediation ended.

He was speaking at a conference in the City on alternative dispute resolution, 'ADR: Cutting the Cost of Conflict'.

Successive speakers praised the practice as a way of cutting the cost and time of resolving disputes.

Mackie told delegates: “The more parties use mediation the more they appreciate its benefits.”

Tony Willis, a partner at Clifford Chance, said: “It is the responsible way forward for parties involved in a business dispute.”

Michael Munden, senior insurance partner in litigation at Herbert Smith, said: “The weight of litigation is a threat. The chap who finds a way to control it has a huge advantage.”

John Kendall, managing partner of Allen & Overy's litigation department, said ADR constituted good management because it ended disputes and deterred future ones from developing.

Michael Lee, managing partner of Norton Rose's commercial litigation practice, said ADR had widespread backing from both the legal profession and the courts. “It is here to stay,” he said.