Dispute Management

This is how The DARP can help you manage your dispute:

Using escalating resolution

The most efficient and cost-effective way of dealing with disagreements is to deal with them early and personally. The people involved at the start need the confidence and authority to work out solutions to difficulties they encounter. The least efficient and most costly way is to polarise the disagreement by involving lawyers at this stage.

Escalating resolution means starting with the individuals, if they cannot sort the problem then involving more senior management to attempt settlement; if that doesn’t work then involving an independent third party as a facilitator of meetings or as Mediator to help find a resolution. Beyond that stage the means of resolution moves out of the individual’s control and to a third party (adjudicator, arbitrator, expert or judge) will imposes their finding.

The DARP helps businesses avoid this final stage and so you retain control of the process, the outcome and the costs.

Involving neutral third parties

Facilitation and mediation are effective means of resolving differences without losing control of the issues, the time, the cost and the outcome.

A facilitator just provides an independent presence in both private and general meetings, to help people to communicate effectively, when together they become deadlocked. Often this is enough for the problems to be resolved before they become unmanageable

If a resolution is not achieved lawyers often become involved and the dispute becomes formalised. A mediator uses a more structured process to help people resolve difficulties that have grown into a dispute. This is usually done in a single day and the parties usually reach a binding settlement. The Mediator helps them reach their solution but does not impose one.

The DARP provide, or recommend, both facilitators and commercial and workplace mediators.

Preparing a persuasive case

Once problems go beyond the discussion and facilitation stage, they inevitable enter a more formal, often legal process. Time needs to be spent on assessing risk, exploring the strengths and weaknesses, reviewing the various possible outcomes, estimating the cost of management, experts and advisors time and deciding on the process that will best achieve resolution.

The DARP have the specific knowledge and skills to provide cost-effective advice in all these areas and to assist in without prejudice settlement discussions where appropriate.

Finding co-operative solutions

The experience of DARP undoubtedly demonstrates that finding co-operative solutions (working with the other parties not against them) yields the best outcomes. Understanding each other’s needs and finding ways of meeting them, where possible, will always result in the best deals.

This is never easy, not least because most people adopt an adversarial stance in negotiation assuming its what they need to ‘get what they want’, but the co-operative approach works, and The DARP have the experience to make it so.

Retaining key business relationships

A damaging side effect of being in dispute (whether this is within your business or involving a third party) is the effect it has on valuable working relationships. An important benefit of direct negotiation, facilitation or mediation is that fractured relationships can often be repaired, or at least the process may be started. Parties are often so pleased to have achieved a settlement, and so relieved that the dispute is in the past that they can get on with life again and working together again becomes possible. This never happens when cases go to court.

Even if a solution is not achieved, working in a co-operative process such as facilitation or mediation can mean that the parties are able to disagree well, leaving no residual bitterness or enmity and although not resolved an end is achieved without the need of going to Court.

At the very least the DARP can help parties learn from the unhappy experience of being in dispute and ensure that there is no repeat in the future.