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Abu Dhabi Global Market announces ‘innovative’ online dispute resolution platform

The Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) Arbitration Centre will launch an online dispute resolution platform during the first quarter of 2024, it has announced.

The system – dubbed ODR@ADGM – is described by the centre as a fully digitalised settlement and mediation service where parties will be able to resolve their disputes through self-guided negotiations or, ultimately, mediation.

Parties will be able to submit a dispute on ODR@ADGM and provide relevant information through a series of questions that result in the tailoring of a settlement offer to the other party. Following this, an invitation will be sent to the other party to join the platform. Once both parties are registered, online negotiations can begin.

The new platform aims to provide a self-driven solution for parties, including by offering a template settlement agreement to parties if a settlement offer is accepted. Alternatively, parties will retain the ability to create their own settlement agreement with the assistance of their legal representatives. If settlement is not reached via negotiation, parties will have the option to access a mediator.

The digital mediation service will be available to parties anywhere in the world. “This global offering represents a valuable opportunity for the ADGM to demonstrate its capabilities and innovative approach to dispute resolution to a broader international audience”, said dispute resolution expert Amelia Cave of Pinsent Masons.

ODR@ADGM is only the latest innovation in dispute resolution offered by the ADGM Arbitration Centre, following on from the launch of the world’s first “mediation in the metaverse” by the Centre in November 2022. The centre said that Mediation in the Metaverse aligned to its “ultimate goals of increasing: the reach of mediation to parties who wish to explore a resolution of their dispute on their own terms and question its effectiveness without their physical presence; and the acceptance of mediation as an invaluable means to resolve disputes”.

Seema Bono, dispute resolution expert at Pinsent Masons, said “The announcement of ODR@ADGM reflects a growing trend for virtual methods of dispute resolution in the MENA region. It appears that this platform will offer parties a flexible and cost-effective route to resolving disputes before they reach a trial, or a final arbitration hearing.”

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