Alternative Dispute Resolution

What is alternative dispute resolution?

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is the process in which an independent third party person helps to resolve a dispute. ADR processes do not involve judicial determinations like court-decisions or a tribunal.

Some key strategies when it comes to ADR include:

  • Responding promptly and sensitively to disputes
  • Assessing disputes to determine the most appropriate response
  • Resolving disputes in a timely manner

There are three main types of ADR processes. These are:

  • Facilitative
  • Advisory
  • Determinative


In facilitative processes we use a number of methods to assist parties to identify issues, develop options, consider alternatives and reach an agreement. Examples of facilitative processes include mediation, conciliation, facilitation and facilitates negotiation.


In advisory processes we consider and appraise the dispute and provide advice as to the facts of the dispute, the law and how to achieve desirable outcomes. Examples of advisory processes include case appraisal, conciliation (where advice is offered or used) and early neutral evaluation.


In determinative processes we evaluate the dispute and make a determination. Determinative processes use more formal techniques to inform the arbitrator so that they can determine an Award that will resolve the dispute. Examples of determinative processes include arbitration, expert determination and private judging.

Benefits of ADR

  • An educative process – parties learn about each other’s interests more clearly
  • A model for conflict management that participants can apply to future disputes
  • Clients have a relatively high level of control over the process and its outcomes
  • Reinforces the chances of a lasting agreement because it is more likely to reflect the wants and needs of the participants
  • Perceived as less threatening to the parties than formal court processes

For more information about ADR, see the Australian Government’s Attorney-General’s Department.

If you require ADR, we have the knowledge and experience you need.

Contact us to find out more.