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    ADR procedures are often quicker than court proceedings, which is of benefit to both businesses and consumers. The cost of ADR is often free to the consumer or at least considerably less than using the courts. Procedures are often completed in private and conducted confidentially, avoiding the risk of adverse publicity and reputational damage that could arise from a court case.

    In some types of ADR (such as mediation) the parties to the dispute decide the outcome themselves rather than having it imposed on them.

    ADR can be more flexible in terms of outcome and how it applies to strict rules of law. It may therefore be possible to achieve outcomes that a court could not order, or to get a result that both parties think is fairer than that dictated by law.

    ADR procedures can be less confrontational or adversarial than court proceedings. Not only can this reduce stress, it can also be an important consideration for a fruitful ongoing relationship.

    If the dispute ends up going through the courts, a failure to have considered the use of ADR prior to court proceedings may lead to additional costs.

    Traders who do not provide information required by the ADR Regulations leave themselves open to having action taken against them by the local trading standards services under the Enterprise Act 2002.

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    > Types of ADR