ADR—pre-action and post-commencement of court proceedings
ADR—pre-action and post-commencement of court proceedings

The following Dispute Resolution guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • ADR—pre-action and post-commencement of court proceedings
  • ADR—what is happening?
  • Why and when are you required to consider ADR?
  • SRA regulatory regime and ADR
  • Pre-action ADR requirements—which pre-action protocol applies?
  • Pre-action ADR requirements—Practice Direction Pre-Action Conduct and Protocols
  • Pre-action ADR requirements—protocols for construction and engineering/property-related disputes
  • Pre-action ADR requirements—other protocols
  • CPR requirements applying to all proceedings
  • Court specific guidance

This Practice Note considers the relationship between alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and the civil procedure rules (CPR), both pre-action and once proceedings have commenced. Depending on the court in which your matter is proceeding, you may also need to be mindful of additional provisions—see further below.

ADR—what is happening?

ADR has been around for some considerable time now and yet it is still considered to be failing, in the sense that too many parties are taking their disputes to court when this arena and a judicial decision may not be the best result for them, particularly with regard to issues of cost, time and continuing relationships. How to encourage uptake in the use of ADR has been a common theme since the 1998 introduction of the Civil Procedure Rules.

20 years later, in November 2018, following two years of consultation and consideration, the Civil Justice Council ADR Working Group issued its final report:

CJC ADR Working Group Final Report November 2018

which makes a number of recommendations.

The final report recognises a common misconception that discussion around increasing the use of ADR necessarily involves a compulsion on parties to mediate. This is not the case. While mediation is one of the more well known means of ADR, it is not the sole means. Furthermore, as the final report states:

‘2.2 People have spoken of