Online Dispute Resolution

Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) is not new, the concept has been around for over a decade and it has been put to use, in terms of consumer disputes, for much of that time. ODR is the online version of ADR options and is ideally suited to negotiation, mediation and arbitration, or a combination of the three; the fundamentals of those ADR methods, which can be found in my article here remain unchanged, the key change is the manner in which the process is conducted.

There are many benefits of ODR over traditional mediation, these include:

  • Cheaper
  • No Travel
  • No Venue Hire Fee
  • Can be done from home – or wherever each party is most comfortable
  • Can be undertaken on evenings and weekends
Laptop computer with web chat meeting


The online platforms consist of as many virtual ‘rooms’ as required. As a minimum there will be three:

  1. Main room for plenary (joint) discussions between all parties

  2. Private room for Party 1

  3. Private room for Party 2

The Private rooms allow parties the space to think on matters discussed, speak with their lawyers in private, if they have chosen to instruct lawyers for the mediation and to speak in private with the mediator during his individual sessions.

Mediation has confidentiality at its core – nothing will ever be passed between one party and the other without that party’s express permission.