The future of dispute resolution

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The need for effective and efficient legal dispute resolution mechanisms is becoming increasingly important in the legal sector. With the introduction of new technologies, the future of legal dispute resolution in the UK is likely to look very different in the future.

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Increasing technology

One of the most significant trends that’s likely to shape the future of legal dispute resolution is the increasing significance of technology. In recent years, we’ve seen the emergence of new technologies, such as AI, which has the potential to revolutionise the way legal disputes are resolved. Master of the Rolls, Sir Geoffrey Vos, urged lawyers to embrace digital innovation and AI to cut costs and expenditures. These changes are arguably necessary for London to remain a leading dispute resolution hub.

Online dispute resolution 

Another trend that’ll shape the future of legal dispute resolution is online dispute resolution (ODR), which uses technology to carry out the dispute resolution process. ODRs are frequently used in disputes that began online and are suitable for addressing things like customer complaints. Although ODR can be a cost-effective way of dealing with consumer disputes, it’s still a developing form of dispute resolution and has its disadvantages. These include:

  • vulnerability to privacy breaches;
  • issues with potential bias; and
  • potential difficulties with language differences on ODR platforms when dealing with cross-border disputes.

Alternative dispute resolution

Additionally, a shift in the way legal disputes are resolved in the UK is also expected. In recent years, there’s been a growing interest in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) which provides a way of settling a dispute without going to a court or tribunal for a decision (eg, mediation). ADRs are designed to help parties resolve their disputes amicably and without resorting to litigation. ADR can be effective in cases where parties have an ongoing relationship, such as in family disputes or commercial disputes between businesses.

The future

The future of legal dispute resolution in the UK will arguably be shaped by a combination of technological and cultural changes in the future. While the use of new technology and ODR platforms are relatively new to the dispute resolution space, they have the potential to create a more efficient, effective and accessible legal system. Businesses, law firms and the court system all need to adapt to these changes for the UK to remain a leading dispute resolution hub.

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