Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative Dispute Resolution

 

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) refers to settlement of disputes out of Court. This method is gaining popularity in today’s world particularly for the disputes related to civil matters. It is quick and low cost, which is adopted with consent of both parties who remain in total control of its outcome. The process typically includes neutral evaluation of the dispute; direct negotiations, negotiation with the intervention of a third party/Mediator and Arbitration.

ADR involves wide range of dispute settlement techniques which are informal or less formal than traditional judicial/court-room proceedings. The ADR processes & methods are aimed to reduce community conflict, un-burden the pendency of legal suits/matters in the Courts of Law and also facilitate community development. (1) Negotiation, (2) Mediation and (3) Arbitration are included under the ADR umbrella. The Courts may be asked to review the validity of ADR methods, however they rarely overturn ADR decisions & awards since the disputing parties agree to settle the dispute in question and pen down a valid contract to that effect.

The National Assembly (of Pakistan) enacted Act XX of 2017 to provide for alternative dispute resolution called the Alternative Dispute Resolution Act, 2017. Pursuant to the Act, the Government of Pakistan has notified ADR (Mediation) Centers as well as panel of Mediators (Neutrals) who are experienced and qualified individuals and are Accredited Mediators. The parties may approach the centers for amicable settlement and resolution of their disputes.

In case, the parties adopt legal recourse and file proceedings in the Courts, then by virtue of the Act of 2017, at the first date of hearing, it is mandatory for the Courts to refer the dispute to ADR, with consent of the parties. Otherwise, at any stage of the proceedings, Courts on its own motion or on the request/consent of both the parties may also refer the dispute to ADR.

The ADR proceedings, mediation in particular, is completely confidential where parties engage in an assisted negotiation with the intervention of a Mediator, who is impartial & independent, and helps both the parties understand their needs & interest and reach their own solution – in private. The solution is non-binding until reduced in writing and signed by both the parties. The entire process is without prejudice – meaning that what is said and produced before the Mediator, remains confidential, which cannot be used in favour or against the other, if the case goes to the Court. In case of a settlement, it is reduced in writing and signed by both the parties, the agreement may be presented before the Courts, which shall endorse it and shall make it an “Award”, “Rule of the Court” or pass a “Consent Decree” in terms of the settlement agreement to end litigation effectively.

Our legal business partners and Associates in the Firm, consists of professionals who have extensive experience in different fields of legal practice including ADR. We discharge our duties, independently and impartially and special focus on formulating and implementing strategy for desired outcomes within minimum timeframe. We have extensive knowledge and experience of different ADR processes.

Mr. Hasan Rashid Qamar, ASC, legal business partner of the Firm, completed LLB (Hons.) from University of Warwick and University of London and obtained Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from OXILP, UK. He was enrolled as an Advocate of the High Courts in 2010 and as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 2020. He has more than 13 years of extensive practice experience. In addition, to legal practice, Mr. Qamar successfully completed and passed Mediation Training & Assessment from Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) and is certified as CIArb Accredited Mediator. He is enrolled & notified in the panel of Mediators in ADR Centers/Mediation Centers by the Government (of Pakistan) and is also notified by the Hon’ble Islamabad High Court.

In line with the incentive of the Government to offer ADR solutions for amicable settlement and resolution of disputes and after enactment of the ADR Act of 2017, our team offer services as Mediators, Arbitrators as well as Mediator Attorneys.

For further details, please feel free to contact us at:
adr@qamarlawassociates.com

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