As part of our consultation process Northwest Mediation can get asked to draft clauses for contractual documents encouraging or requiring parties to engage in alternative dispute resolution
Preference for ADR to be a requirement or simply an option depend on the nature of the contract and the parties involved, we would always encourage clients when drafting contracts to make the use of mediation in any dispute an obligation as the saving on costs and management time is provable.
Whether mediation is used as a first or supplemental step to dispute resolution Northwest Mediation will encourage clients to draft their agreements so that it is always be open to the parties to take up the option of ADR throughout any dispute.
Relevant clauses can be inserted into contracts for employment, sale, provision of services, partnerships and company formations.
Such clauses may say:-
“in the event of a dispute arising out of this agreement (for services/for sale/of employment) the parties shall before taking any legal proceedings refer the dispute to Northwest Mediation and actively engage in alternative dispute resolution.”
The clause in the view of Northwest Mediation should always go further and add:-
“if at any time during any dispute either party indicates to the other that it wishes to try to resolve any dispute by mediation all proceedings will be stayed by agreement to allow the dispute to be referred to Northwest Mediation and both parties shall actively engage in alternative dispute resolution”
By including such clauses as standard in agreements the parties retain control of the dispute resolution and avoid the expense of trial or arbitration.