Welcome to Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse

ADR Services

1. Mediation:

Mediation is an alternative dispute process in which a neutral and impartial third party called the mediator is invited by the disputing parties to facilitate the resolution of the dispute by the self-determined agreement of the disputants. The mediator facilitates communication, promotes understanding, focuses the parties on their interests, and uses creative problem-solving techniques to enable the parties to reach their own mutual settlement/agreement. The process is voluntary as the parties are not under any obligation to accept the suggestions of the mediator.

The parties control the substance of the discussions and any agreement reached. A typical session starts with each party telling their story. The mediator listens and helps them identify the issues in the dispute, offering options for resolution and assisting them in crafting a settlement.

2. Arbitration:

Arbitration is the most initiated method of ADR where parties to a dispute submit to a third party called an arbitrator or arbitral tribunal for the resolution of their dispute. The decision of the arbitrator or arbitral panel called an award, is binding on the parties and enforceable by the courts. Arbitration is regulated by the Arbitration and Mediation Act (AMA) 2023.

An arbitration clause is sometimes found in contractual agreements executed between contracting parties and the position of the law is that parties to an agreement that contains an arbitration clause must first abide by the arbitration clause before going to court. When a party to an arbitration clause in an agreement proceeds to court contrary to the arbitration clause, the other party can apply for a stay of proceeding, and the court, upon the fulfilment of the relevant conditions will stay the action as provided by Sections 5 of the Arbitration and Mediation Act (AMA) 2023.

3. Early Neutral Evaluation:

This consists of an impartial assessment of a case's strengths and weaknesses, with the evaluator providing an advisory opinion as to settlement value and merit, which will assist the parties in settlement negotiations. It is effective where the subject matter of the dispute requires an expert in the field. The evaluator's opinion is often used to negotiate a settlement. Neutral Evaluation is best for cases with technical issues that need an expert and where there aren't significant emotional or personal barriers to reaching a settlement.

4. Hybrid processes:

These consist of a mix of two or more ADR processes in resolving a single dispute. It could be Med-Arb (Mediation-Arbitration) which describes a process which commences with Mediation and continues as Arbitration if there are some issues left unresolved after Mediation or when the parties need a decision to be made for them.