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Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a way of solving disputes between dealers and consumers that does not involve the Court process. The Alternative Dispute Resolution Regulations 2015 are the Governments way of encouraging the use and development of ADR. Basically, the Regulations whilst they do not make ADR mandatory, they do have an information requirement on businesses selling to Consumers to tell them of any ADR Scheme they are part of.
Common forms of ADR are:
It has become noticeable that there has been an increased utilisation of ADR by members. The RMI of course runs its own National Conciliation Service (NCS), which is one such ADR organisation. This can be a cost effective and a timely route to solve disputes. The Courts will look favourably on parties that engage in ADR as indeed this is built into their Court process. This can be seen in Small Claims actions as the parties are requested to consider Small Claims mediation before a Small Claims trial hearing takes place. We will continue to monitor the use of ADR and will update further.
Andrew Reeves, Solicitor, Motor Industry Legal Services