Mediation and Arbitration
It is becoming more common for parties contemplating litigation to choose a quicker and less expensive way to resolve their disputes - the alternative dispute resolution. They may consider appointing a mediator to consider their differences and balance their claims or they may consider conducting an arbitration chaired by, normally, one or three arbitrators.
We have a team of experienced lawyers available to advise clients in choosing the most appropriate method to resolve their disputes. We have assisted both plaintiffs and defendants to reach settlement before a full-blown litigation. Our partner Mr. Simon Yeung is an experienced mediator.
In mediation, the mediator, a neutral and facilitating third party, assists parties involved in negotiations to reach a settlement outside of court. The conduct of the negotiation is in an informal manner. This is most beneficial for family (divorce, custody or financial arrangement) disputes and employer-employee disputes.
Arbitration is another form of ADR. Here, the parties usually enter into an arbitration agreement and appoint arbitrator(s) to adjudge their disputes. The arbitrator, again a neutral third party, reviews all the evidence in the case (in a much less formal way than a court of law) and gives out a legally binding decision for all parties. The arbitral award may be capable of enforcement in a court of law in Hong Kong or overseas.
Following the Civil Justice Reform in Hong Kong, every party in a court litigation case has to consider using mediation to resolve their dispute before proceeding to trial since 2010. A party unreasonably refusing to attend mediation before trial may be subject to an adverse costs order (i.e. the party may be ordered to pay part of the costs of the other party whether he is eventually successful in his claims (or defence) or not).