General Litigation / Alternative Dispute Resolution

Avoiding the stress of
the litigation process

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A less adversarial and hostile
way to resolve a dispute

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is the use of methods such as mediation and arbitration to resolve a dispute instead of litigation (legal action).

To avoid or lessen the hostility between parties, our team uses ADR procedures that can allow each side to understand the different position and craft their own solutions.


Our team at FH&P Lawyers offers impartial mediation to help parties try to reach a resolution to their dispute that is mutually acceptable. This method is more formal, but the parties still control the discussions and path of the outcome. Prior to the outcome, each party will explain their story while the mediator listens and pinpoints the issues of the dispute. The mediator will offer options for a resolution and develop a settlement.

There are various methods of mediation depending on the parties’ needs:

Face to face – parties directly communicate during the process;

Shuttle – the mediator separates the parties and shuttles between each one with proposals for settlement;

Facilitative – the mediator helps the parties directly communicate with each other; or

Evaluative – the mediator makes an assessment of the merit of the parties’ claims during separate meetings and may propose terms of settlement.

Our team can help the parties decide which method to use.


If parties have no interest in trying to resolve their dispute mutually, an option is Arbitration. This is the most formal ADR procedure and places the decision in the hands of a third party. The arbitrator will hear the arguments and evidence and then will come to a conclusion to the dispute. During their allotted time, each party can present evidence and arguments. Unlike in a trial, the rules of evidence are usually more relaxed.

There are two conclusions to arbitration; “binding” and “non-binding.” Binding arbitration means the right to a trial has been waived and the parties agree to accept the decision as final. There is no right of appeal.

A non-binding arbitration allows the parties to request a trial if they do not agree or accept the arbitrator’s decision. Non-binding arbitration is rare.

Our team can help the parties decide which method to use.


Negotiation involves people in dispute communicating directly with each other, either by speaking or in writing, to try to reach an agreement. Negotiations may be used to resolve an already-existing problem, or to lay the groundwork for a future relationship between the parties.

This form of ADR is the most flexible as it involves only those parties within the specific matter of dispute. The parties have the ability to shape the discussion path for their own needs, for example setting the agenda, selecting the venue and identifying the participants. Negotiation is also a voluntary process, and no-one is required to participate in the negotiations if they wish not to.

Our team can help the parties decide when to negotiate.

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Notice to Mediate

Effective October 1, 2020, ADRBC will be the designated roster organization under the Notice to Mediate regulation in the Insurance (Vehicle) Act, Homeowner Protection Act, Law and Equity Act, School Act and the Small Claims Rule 7.3.

BC’s new Arbitration Act

British Columbia’s new Arbitration Act has modernized the province’s domestic arbitration system and improving access to justice through out-of-court options. The legislation replaces outdated arbitration law and reflects best practices based on a United Nations arbitration model that has been adopted by many other jurisdictions.

Alternative Dispute Resolution Lawyers

Heidi Taylor
Brian Coen
Wendy Cheung
Dan Shea