The Law Society of Scotland backs consideration of alternatives to court action and has issued new guidance to Scottish Solicitors about alternative forms of dispute resolution.
Solicitors are now expected to have “sufficient understanding of commonly available alternative dispute resolution options”. These options should be discussed with clients and given “proper consideration”. Clients should be able to make an “informed decision” on which method of dispute resolution best suits their needs and desired outcome.
For example, raising court action may cause parties to a dispute stop working together. It may be better that the parties have an opportunity to discuss their concerns and consider their differences. The parties would be actively involved in the process, and would be able to seek out opportunities and a course of action, which may resolve their dispute.
It is also appropriate to consider when alternatives to court action may not be in the best interests of a client. There may be concerns about intimidation of one party, or a need for protective orders.
The solicitors at Taylor Law are experts in alternative forms of dispute resolution. In many disputes, we view the raising of court proceedings as a last resort. Taylor Law’s principal solicitor, Ross Taylor, is an accredited mediator. He has also been involved in a number of adjudications, arbitrations and round-table discussions.