InnovADR

InnovADR

Faster, Cheaper, Better

Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR)

  • Settle Disputes Within 3-6 Months
  • At a Fraction of the Costs of Going to Trial
  • On a “No Settlement, No Fee” Basis
  • With a >70% Settlement Rate
  • Using Mediators and Other Experts, as Needed

Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR)

The acronym “ADR” has been used by different dispute resolution professionals to mean different things:

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution: the term used by domestic judges or lawyers to refer to alternatives to national court systems
  • Amicable Dispute Resolution: often the term used by international arbitrators or lawyers to refer to non-adjudicative forms of dispute resolution

At InnovADR, “ADR” stands for “Appropriate Dispute Resolution”.  We believe that it is possible to combine different processes as needed, taking care to respect the role and function of each ADR Neutral appointed.  This approach focuses on the procedural needs and interests of the disputants using our 7 Key Drivers, and encompasses many more ways of resolving disputes (including adjudicative as well as non-adjudicative processes, as may be needed), which enables the parties to have more flexible as well as faster, cheaper and better access to justice.”

The most commonly-used ADR processes can be broken down as follows:

deal

Negotiation

An informal process where
parties attempt to resolve disputes
by themselves.

Mediation

A non-evaluative process where
a neutral third party (mediator)
helps disputants find a mutually
acceptable solution.

Conciliation

Similar to mediation, but may
involve more active advice, evaluative input or settlement proposals
from the conciliator.

Expert Evaluation

An evaluative process, where an expert is asked to give an opinion that may be binding on a specific topic

Arbitration

A more formal process where
a neutral third party (arbitrator)
makes a binding decision on
the dispute.

Mixed Mode ADR Processes

At InnovADR the term “ADR” also encompasses mixed-mode processes, combining different dispute resolution processes to achieve more efficient, cost-effective, and satisfactory outcomes that are tailored to the specific needs of each case.  This approach is influenced by the concept of “Guided Choice” dispute resolution, whereby dispute resolution professions should first try understand each disputant’s procedural needs and interests first, provide a diagnosis based on defined key drivers, and design an appropriate process that meets all of the disputants’ procedural needs based on these key drivers (e.g., time and cost to reaching an outcome, and relationships, and other considerations). This approach is particularly important in international disputes, where national court proceedings may not be enforceable abroad and parties from different legal cultures may have different cultural approaches to resolving disputes.

Examples of Mixed Modes ADR processes include various forms of
sequential, parallel, and integrated ADR processes, such as:

Sequential Processes

MED-ARB (Mediation-Arbitration):

Parties first attempt mediation, then move to arbitration if
mediation does not lead to a complete settlement.

ARB-MED (Arbitration-Mediation):

Starts with a quick arbitration to determine a preliminary ruling, followed by mediation.

ARB-CON-ARB (Conciliation Window):

Begins with arbitration, opens a window for conciliation,
and returns to arbitration if conciliation fails.

Parallel Processes

MED//ARB:
Mediation and arbitration proceed in parallel with separate neutrals, without interference between the processes.
Carve-Outs:
Certain issues are carved out from arbitration and handled separately in mediation.
Shadow Mediation:
A shadow mediator monitors and provides input on arbitration proceedings.
Partnering:
Used mainly in construction, it involves a structured approach with regular meetings and a focus on maintaining relationships.

Integrated Processes

MEDALOA (Mediation followed by Last Offer Arbitration):

Following mediation, parties make final offers, and the mediator
as arbitrator chooses one.

Dispute Boards (DBs):

Panels established at the start of a project, often in construction, that offer various dispute resolution methods as needed.

Combined Neutrals:

A team of neutrals, one acting non-evaluatively (mediator)
and the other evaluatively (conciliator or arbitrator), work together to optimize settlement chances.

Additional forms include innovative and evolving processes that combine different ADR tools and neutrals, tailored to best fit the unique circumstances of each case.

The International Mediation Institute (IMI), along with other ADR institutions, has been instrumental in exploring and establishing guidelines for such Mixed-Mode ADR processes. Its work aims at addressing the practicalities and ethics of neutrals switching roles, and to harmonize differing global practices and perspectives on ADR, which InnovADR seeks to apply.

In summary, ADR, particularly in its mixed-mode forms, offers a versatile and culturally sensitive approach to dispute resolution. It emphasizes the importance of understanding the specific needs and contexts of the disputants, thereby enabling more effective and satisfactory outcomes.

Faster, Cheaper, Better

InnovADR’s goal is to help all the parties to consider their procedural needs and interests using 7 key drivers to reach faster, cheaper and better outcomes.  We believe this is possible in over 85% of disputes based on the following metrics:

1. Faster

The duration of a commercial will usually vary significantly depending on a variety of factors. These include the complexity of the case, the jurisdiction, the efficiency of the legal system and the rules of procedure that apply, and the tribunal’s existing workload. Here are some general points to consider:

 

  1. Complexity of the Case: More complex cases, such as those involving multiple parties, intricate legal issues, or large amounts of evidence, typically take longer to resolve.
  2. Seat of Jurisdiction: Different countries have different legal systems and processes. Some may have more efficient procedures or specialized commercial courts that can handle cases more quickly.
  3. Legal Procedures: The stages of litigation, including pre-trial motions, discovery, trial, and potential appeals, can extend the time frame. Judges and arbitrators need to provide a binding judgment based on their analysis of the facts and applicable laws.  They may need more evidence or submissions before they can make a decision, which can take a lot of time and the need for expert reports to be generated.
  4. Court Workload: The volume of cases in the court’s docket can impact the speed of proceedings. A court with a heavy caseload may take longer to hear and decide a case.

In general, a commercial dispute in a court or in arbitration proceedings can take anywhere from 1-5 years to resolve.  InnovADR’s goal is to help the parties’ resolve their disputes within less than 3-6 months.

FASTER: By way of comparison, the World Bank provides the following examples and estimated number of days for resolving a domestic commercial case valued at several hundred thousand dollars:

  • In France : 447 days
  • In Italy : 1120 days
  • In Japan : 360 days
  • In Singapore : 164 days
  • In Switzerland : 598 days
  • In the UK : 437 days
  • In the US : between 555 days (in Los Angeles) and 370 days (in New York)

2. Cheaper

The cost of resolving a commercial dispute in a commercial court or through an arbitral tribunal varies widely and depends on several factors. Some factors to consider are:

 

  1. Legal Fees: These are often the most significant expense. The fees depend on the complexity of the case, the duration of the proceedings, and the rates of the lawyers involved. In some jurisdictions, legal fees can be very high.  Lawyers normally charge on an hourly fee basis, although in some countries lawyers are permitted to charge on a “contingency” or “success” fee basis, sharing in the damages they are able to receive for their clients.
  2. Institutional Fees: Courts and arbitral tribunals charge fees for filing a case and for the proceedings. Arbitral tribunal fees can be particularly high, especially if the tribunal involves renowned experts.  Institutional arbitrations also entail adding the costs of the of administering institution, rending arbitration sometimes more expensive than litigation before courts.
  3. Other Expenses: These can include the cost of expert witnesses, travel expenses (especially relevant for international disputes), and other miscellaneous costs like document production and the taking of evidence from witnesses, or depositions to verify documents or past facts.
  4. Cost Allocations: In many national court and arbitration proceedings the winning party is entitled to have all or a significant portion of its legal fees and other expenses reimbursed by the losing party. This can significantly impact the overall cost calculus for the losing party.

Arbitration is often perceived as more expensive due to higher tribunal fees.  The arbitrators’ fees are paid by the disputants and as well as the costs of any administering arbitration institution.  The facilities/location of any hearings also need to be paid for, as well as stenographers, party break-out rooms, arbitrators’ rooms, etc. Arbitration, however, can be quicker than court proceedings, which may reduce overall expenses in some cases.  There can also be significant differences in costs between “civil law” countries (e.g., France, Italy, China, Japan and Switzerland) and “common law” countries (e.g., Australia, Ireland, United Kingdom, USA, Singapore) proceedings.  Some of these differences are due to the following:

Differences in Costs Between Civil Law and Common Law Proceedings

 

  • Discovery Processes: Common law systems often have extensive discovery processes, which can significantly increase the cost and duration of litigation. Civil law systems typically have more limited discovery, potentially reducing costs.
  • Legal Fees: In common law countries, legal fees might be higher due to the nature of the litigation process, which can be more adversarial and require more in-depth preparation and presentation of evidence.
  • Use of Expert Witnesses: Common law proceedings often involve the use of party-appointed expert witnesses, which can add to the costs. In civil law systems, courts often rely more court-appointed experts, who tend to be less expensive.
  • Length of Proceedings: Common law proceedings can involve lengthier extensive pre-trial processes or the use of juries (even in commercial disputes in some countries), potentially increasing costs. Civil law proceedings are often more streamlined.
  • Cost Allocation: In common law jurisdictions, the impact of being ordered to pay a significant portion of the winning party’s costs can substantially impact the overall cost calculus of the losing party. This is especially the case if parallel proceedings need to take place in different courts around the world (e.g., in certain intellectual property dispute cases, where only national courts have subject matter jurisdiction).

The actual costs of commercial litigation or arbitration proceedings can range from tens of thousands to millions of US dollars, depending on these factors and others. It is important for parties involved in such disputes to obtain cost and time estimates from experienced professionals in either commercial court litigation or arbitration, and in the relevant legal system (civil or common law) before resorting to adjudicative processes.

CHEAPER: By way of comparison, the World Bank provides the following examples and estimated percentages of the value of a dispute for resolving a domestic commercial case valued at several hundred thousand dollars:

  • In France: 17.4% of claim value
  • In Italy: 27.6% of claim value
  • In Japan: 23,4% of claim value
  • In Singapore: 25.8% of claim value
  • In Switzerland: 24% of claim value
  • In the UK: 45.7% of claim value
  • In the US: 42% of claim value.

3. Better

InnovADR’s approach to diagnosing, designing and investing in bespoke mixed mode processes using a mediator as the 1st ADR Neutral is likely to lead to better outcomes in at least 85% of cases for the following reasons:
  1. Greater Cooperation: Starting with mediation first and focusing on procedural needs and interests upfront reduces the hostility between parties, and leads to a more amicable dispute resolution process. This reduced animosity can be beneficial for future interactions between the parties as well as counsel. Working with InnovADR allows for tailored solutions, better addressing procedural needs, concerns and interests, through InnovADR’s analysis of the 7 key drivers it has identified and tracks.
  2. Flexibility and Control: Parties have more control over the process and the outcome. They can start with mediation to negotiate and if that fails, move to arbitration for a binding decision. This blend allows for a more dynamic and adaptable dispute resolution process. Working with a mediator and other ADR neutrals also offers the flexibility to craft remedies beyond monetary damages, like renegotiating contracts or securing more favorable terms taking into consideration a broader range of needs and interests (e.g., how to mutually increase revenues and profitability).
  3. Relationship Preservation: InnovADR’s process design system focuses on better collaboration and mutual understanding between the parties and their counsel. This approach can preserve and sometimes even strengthen business relationships. The processes includes focusing on underlying concerns looking to the future, aiding in maintaining business relationships, whereas court or arbitration battles can be adversarial and harm relationships.
  4. Confidentiality: InnovADR helps to design proceedings that respect the need for transparency, but that can also offer greater privacy, protection of trade secrets or confidential business information, without risk of media attention or reputational damage.
  5. Targeted Expertise: Parties can work with the 1st ADR Neutral selected to select additional ADR Neutrals with specific expertise relevant to their dispute or to target specific issues, which is particularly beneficial for complex commercial or technical matters.
  6. Empowerment and Guidance: InnovADR’s tools, like its Application Form and Due Diligence Questionnaire, help parties understand and choose suitable ADR processes and neutrals more quickly and earlier on, preventing conflict escalation, and simplifying procedures.
  7. Finality and Enforceability: If mediation does not lead to a resolution, arbitration can provide a binding decision. This finality can be more appealing compared to the potential for prolonged litigation with appeals. Arbitration also allows enforceability under the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, providing greater business certainty (if needed).
  8. Higher Satisfaction: InnovADR’s approach towards process design is likely to lead to higher satisfaction with the dispute resolution process and its outcomes, as it incorporates all parties’ efforts to negotiate and provides the framework for a formal decision-making process in ways that are likely to be faster, more cost-effective and ensuring greater self-determination.
  9. ESG & SDG Compliance: InnovADR’s approach to dispute resolution and inclusion of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) considerations can significantly contribute to increased compliance with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular Goals 8 (stable and sustainable outcomes assisting economic growth), 16 (increasing access to peace and justice), and 17 (promoting greater partnership in process design and collaboration in seeking mutually acceptable outcomes).

Summary: Why Use InnovADR

  • Settlement rates: >70%
  • Time to settlement: less than 3-6 months
  • Fees: Capped and fixed (< 1/3 of the costs of going to trial)
  • Savings: At least 2/3 of the costs of going to trial or arbitration
  • Risk: No exposure if the case does not settle within 18 months
  • Satisfaction: We aim for >90% satisfaction ratings
  • International: >50 leading international ADR experts from >20 countries
  • Cost-Effective: Reduce legal spend to < 5% of the value of any dispute and resolve it in a fraction of the time
  • Innovation: Use of Mixed Modes to design optimal bespoke processes
  • Simplicity: Simple forms and algorithms designed to help parties save time and work cooperatively.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

InnovADR is a platform dedicated to facilitating amicable dispute resolution processes. It assists parties involved in disputes to organize and resolve them on a “no settlement, no fee” basis.

The ADR Facilitation and Investment Agreement is a framework guiding the resolution of disputes. It details the roles, responsibilities, and procedures for the parties involved, emphasizing efficiency and fairness in dispute resolution.

Key features include a commitment to confidentiality, personalized dispute resolution processes, and a focus on amicable settlements. InnovADR also provides expert neutrals for mediation, conciliation, or arbitration.  InnovADR boasts a high settlement rate, with over 80% of cases settling in less than six months. This leads to substantial savings for clients, often over two-thirds of predicted litigation expenses. The savings are achieved through InnovADR’s efficient process design and its focus on amicable dispute resolution.

InnovADR’s Confidentiality & Security Policy ensures that all information provided on the platform is treated with the utmost care and discretion. They comply with GDPR, Swiss Data Protection laws and other relevant data protection laws, using secure AWS infrastructure in the European Union to store data.

The services are open to any parties involved in disputes seeking an efficient, confidential, and amicable resolution. This includes individuals, businesses, and legal professionals.

InnovADR operates on a “no settlement, no fee” basis, meaning fees are contingent on successfully reaching a settlement. Specific fee structures are outlined in the ADR Facilitation and Investment Agreement. An Administrative Fee of USD 1’000 is only charged at the time the ADR Facilitation and Investment Agreement is signed.

InnovADR is equipped to handle a wide range of disputes, though the specifics can be determined through consultation and an assessment of the dispute’s nature and complexity.

InnovADR appoints experienced and neutral ADR professionals, who are paid upfront by InnovADR ensuring no bias or conflict of interest in the dispute resolution process.

Parties can initiate the process by registering on InnovADR’s online platform as a Requesting Party, Anonymous Person, or Responding Party and providing relevant details about their dispute. InnovADR can also initiate a process as a Non-Essential Party based on published information or if asked to do so.  InnovADR then assesses and guides the parties to determine the appropriate resolution process.

Yes, feedback is welcomed. Users can contact InnovADR via their official communication channels for any feedback, concerns, or complaints.

InnovADR has a cap on the costs of Mediation, including the Mediator’s fees and any institutional fees, up to a specified maximum amount. This cap is determined per case. In addition, InnovADR covers the ADR neutral(s) fees for a fixed capped amount per matter, irrespective of the settlement outcome.

InnovADR’s success fee is contingent on the case settling within eighteen months (usually within 3-6 months). It is based on a pre-agreed multiple of the capped amount, usually ranging between 4-10 times, and is capped at less than 33% of the estimated litigation or arbitration fees. This fee structure is intended to generate significant savings for all parties involved.

InnovADR’s process design aims for a speedy resolution, with a key focus on reducing the time to outcome. Typically, settlement rates exceed 80% in less than six months. This swift resolution process is part of InnovADR’s commitment to efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

InnovADR’s process design is underpinned by seven critical factors, collectively known as the “7 Key Driv-ers.” These drivers are essential in guiding the approach and ensuring effective dispute resolution:

 

  1. Reduced Costs: InnovADR focuses on minimizing the financial burden of dispute resolution. By of-fering cost-effective solutions, clients can expect significant savings compared to traditional litigation or arbitration expenses.
  2. Time to Outcome: Speed is a critical aspect of InnovADR’s approach. The aim is to resolve disputes efficiently, with a high settlement rate achieved in a short time frame, typically within less than three to six months.
  3. Process Control: InnovADR empowers the parties involved in a dispute to have greater control over the process. This includes decisions regarding the selection of neutrals, the timing of proceedings, and other key procedural aspects.
  4. Outcome Control: Parties have more influence over the outcome of their disputes. InnovADR facili-tates a process where the involved parties can negotiate and reach mutually agreeable solutions.
  5. Relationship Preservation: The methods employed by InnovADR are designed to preserve, and of-ten enhance, the relationships between disputing parties. This is particularly valuable in situations where ongoing relationships are important.
  6. Enforceability: Solutions reached through InnovADR are not just amicable but also designed to be legally enforceable. It seeks outcomes that are respected and upheld domestically and international-ly.
  7. Confidentiality: InnovADR prioritizes the confidentiality of the dispute resolution process. Sensitive information is protected, ensuring privacy and discretion for all parties involved.

By integrating these key drivers, InnovADR provides a holistic and efficient approach to dispute resolution, tailored to meet the unique needs of each case while aligning with broader objectives like ESG (Environ-mental, Social, and Governance) and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

InnovADR’s approach to dispute resolution is closely aligned with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) objectives and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Here’s how:

 

  1. ESG Compliance:
    • Environmental: While not directly involved in environmental management, InnovADR’s pro-cesses, being primarily digital and online, reduce the carbon footprint associated with tradi-tional dispute resolution methods (like travel for in-person hearings). It also reduces paper waste and extensive discovery proceedings.
    • Social: InnovADR promotes access to justice and social good by ensuring fair, efficient, rapid and cost-effective dispute resolution. This approach helps maintain and improve relationships between parties, fostering a more harmonious and socially responsible business environ-ment.
    • Governance: The platform adheres to strict governance standards, including transparency, ethical conduct, and accountability in its operations and dispute resolution processes.
  2. Alignment with UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
    • SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions: InnovADR directly contributes to this goal by providing accessible, efficient, and fair justice solutions. Its focus on amicable dispute reso-lution supports the development of peaceful societies and strengthens institutions by reduc-ing the burden on traditional legal systems.
    • SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals: Through its collaborative approach, InnovADR fosters partnerships among disputing parties, legal professionals, and other stakeholders. This col-laboration is key to achieving broader SDGs.
    • Reduced Waste: InnovADR’s digital-first approach minimizes physical waste, aligning with environmental sustainability goals.

InnovADR’s adherence to ESG principles and alignment with specific SDGs reflects its commitment to con-tributing positively to societal and environmental goals while maintaining robust governance standards

More Info

  1. Using Appropriate Dispute Resolution: When to Use Negotiation, Litigation, Arbitration, Conciliation and/or Mediation for Commercial Disputes: http://lawtech.ch/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/LAWTECH-Presentation-Using-Appropriate-Dispute-Resolution-When-to-use-what-why-and-how-much-1.pdf.
  2. The IMI Decision Tree: https://imimediation.org/resources/decision-tree/#decision-tree
  3. The IMI Mixed Mode Taskforce page: https://imimediation.org/about/who-are-imi/mixed-mode-task-force/
  4. The Universal Disclosure Protocol for Mediation (UDPM): https://universaldisclosureprotocolmediation.com/support-the-udpm/
  5. The Green pledge:
  6. Guided Choice Early Dispute Resolution: https://gcdisputeresolution.com/
  7. Mundi Mediatores: https://www.mundimediatores.com/
  8. LAWTECH.CH Useful Information: http://lawtech.ch/useful-information/
  9. Articles on process design and Mixed Modes: