Despite the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, TCZ Law remains open and dedicated to providing an outstanding service to all clients. While you may have previously preferred to deliver your information and meet with us in-person at our office, we recommend other alternatives, such as scheduling a phone call or video conference to substitute for face-to-face meetings, and emailing us your personal information at your convenience.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) refers to a variety of methods used to resolve legal disputes without going to court. In Canada, ADR methods are becoming increasingly popular as they provide an opportunity for parties to resolve their disputes in a cost-effective, efficient, and less stressful manner. This article provides an overview of the ADR process in Canada, including the different types of ADR methods available, the benefits of ADR, and how to choose an ADR method that is right for your particular situation.

Types of Alternative Dispute Resolution

There are several types of ADR methods available in Canada. The most common types of ADR include negotiation, mediation, and arbitration.


Negotiation is an informal process where the parties attempt to resolve their disputes without the assistance of a third party. Negotiation is the most common form of ADR and can be used in many different types of disputes. It can take place before or after a legal action has been commenced.


Mediation is a process where a neutral third party, known as a mediator, assists the parties in resolving their disputes. Mediation is a voluntary process and is most effective when both parties are willing to participate. The mediator’s role is to help the parties reach a mutually acceptable agreement.


Arbitration is a process where a neutral third party, known as an arbitrator, hears evidence and makes a decision. The decision of the arbitrator is usually final and binding on the parties. Arbitration can be either voluntary or mandatory, depending on the terms of the agreement between the parties.

Benefits of Alternative Dispute Resolution

There are many benefits to using ADR methods to resolve disputes. Some of the most significant benefits include:

  • Cost-effective: ADR methods are usually less expensive than going to court.
  • Time-efficient: ADR methods are usually quicker than going to court.
  • Confidential: ADR methods are confidential, which means that the details of the dispute are not made public.
  • Less stressful: ADR methods are generally less stressful than going to court.
  • Better outcomes: ADR methods can result in more creative and mutually acceptable solutions than going to court.

How to Choose an Alternative Dispute Resolution Method

Choosing the right ADR method for your particular situation can be a challenge. It is important to consider the nature of the dispute, the parties involved, and the desired outcome when selecting an ADR method. Some factors to consider when choosing an ADR method include:

Complexity of the dispute: Some disputes are more complex than others and may require a more formal ADR method such as arbitration.

Relationship between the parties: The relationship between the parties can be an important factor in choosing an ADR method. For example, mediation may be a more effective ADR method in disputes between parties who wish to preserve their ongoing relationship.

Cost: The cost of the ADR method is an important factor to consider, particularly in situations where one party may be required to pay the costs of the ADR process.

Enforceability of the agreement: The enforceability of the agreement reached through the ADR method is an important consideration. Arbitration awards are usually enforceable in court, while the enforceability of agreements reached through mediation may depend on the terms of the agreement.