There are many benefits for parties in resolving disputes through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods rather than through traditional court structures. At the forefront of these benefits are considerations of cost, flexibility, confidentiality, expediency and expertise.
ADR is increasingly used to resolve complex disputes, outside or in addition to formal court proceedings. Arbitration and mediation are the most common forms of ADR. ADR methods are used outside, or in addition to, formal court proceedings.
Our dispute resolution specialists have an established track record of representing parties in using arbitration and mediation proceedings, as well as using hybrid forms combining these processes to resolve disputes.
We have extensive experience in advising on domestic and international commercial arbitration matters and investment law disputes. We have acted for claimants and defendants (public and private sector parties) in many complex, high-value commercial and investment treaty arbitrations throughout the world, but with a particular focus on Africa.
We regularly act in institutional and ad hoc international and domestic arbitrations under a variety of rules, including various rules of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Arbitration Foundation of Southern Africa (AFSA), the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), Chinese Arbitration Association (CAA), Association of Arbitrators of South Africa and UNCITRAL. We also represent clients in other dispute resolution fora, including mediations, adjudications and expert determinations.
Webber Wentzel is a founding member of AFSA; is represented on the board of Africa ADR and the African Arbitration Association; and is one of the 25 signatories establishing the China-Africa Joint Arbitration Centre (CAJAC).
We advise on every phase of the dispute process: negotiating the arbitration clause, managing the conflict at a project level, declaring and prosecuting or defending the claims and seeing the matter through to enforcement.
Our offering includes:
- advice relating to choice of governing law;
- advice relating to appropriateness of institutional or ad hoc arbitration;
- advice relating to the rules published by various arbitration institutions;
- advice on the choice of arbitrator and challenges to the appointment of arbitrators;
- advice relating to procedural aspects of arbitrations;
- advice relating to challenging arbitral awards and enforcement of arbitral awards;
- drafting of arbitration clauses and agreements;
- advice relating to international investment arbitrations and investment law aspects of treaty-based arbitrations; and
- risk advisory services relating to bilateral and multilateral investment treaties.
Many of our team members have acted as mediators in commercial disputes and understand the mediation process from all perspectives.
As a first step, we consider whether mediation is an appropriate option. In our experience, successful mediation requires real motivation from the parties to want to settle. Without this level of commitment, mediation processes can protract resolving the dispute through other means.
Once it is clear that mediation is a viable option, we assist clients in preparing for mediation by providing advice and counsel during the mediation process. If a solution is agreed between the parties, we draft the necessary settlement agreement to record the resolution. Should mediation fail, we can guide clients on the next steps.