Conflicts are inherent in human relationships. Therefore, conflict resolution is at the heart of our profession as lawyers and a large number of our clients – individuals or companies – consult us on the subject.
Conflict resolution may occur in any area of law and we all have to face one or more disputes or disagreements in the course of our personal (family conflicts, issues with neighbours, in the context of an inheritance, when buying real estate, etc.) and professional lives (disputes under labour law, commercial law, corporate law, etc.).
Conflict resolution methods
There is no single method for settling a dispute, but several, including amicable settlements, which should be preferred in many situations, judicial proceedings, mediation, arbitration (which has been described separately: arbitration) or collaborative law. These methods are called alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods.
The choice of method is very important because some disputes do not lend themselves to any one of these methods and the implications and consequences of each are not the same. It is therefore essential to be well advised in this choice by specialists who deal with conflict resolution on a daily basis.
These methods are not exclusive of each other and may, in some cases, succeed each other in the different phases that a dispute may go through.
This is the classic and currently most widespread route used. The Firm's lawyers have extensive experience before civil, criminal and administrative courts, whether at the cantonal or federal level, and have a very good command over the applicable procedures, which are often complex and specific to each field and each jurisdiction.
In a civil lawsuit, the parties in conflict submit their dispute to a judge who decides on the outcome of the case, after hearing the parties, witnesses or technical experts in the field that is the subject of the dispute. Even when proceedings are underway, the parties can always find an amicable solution to their dispute, and the judge will often encourage them to do so.
This is an alternative method of conflict resolution that is widely used in Anglo-Saxon countries, led by the United States, and which is tending to be increasingly used in Switzerland.
The parties are supported by a neutral and impartial third party whom they themselves choose, in principle. The said third party helps them seek a solution to their dispute. The parties remain in control of their dispute. The procedure is confidential, flexible, fast and inexpensive.
Our specialists can either help their clients when they are parties to mediation, to ensure that the solution that emerges is in line with their legal interests, or function as ad hoc mediators, appointed by a court or by a mediation institution.