30 years of dispute resolution experience at your service to keep you out of court and your bank account safe from those who would charge you for their services regardless of the outcome they achieve for you and your satisfaction with their service. I am prepared to stand with you and share the risk.
Hi, my name is Chris Whitelaw and this is my official dispute management and dispute resolution website.
My emphasis is on helping you achieve –
This website was launched to provide you with a clear alternative choice if you have the misfortune to become embroiled in a dispute and don't fancy the prospect of costly, distracting and time-consuming litigation.
Most people don't expect to be caught up in a dispute and so don't plan for it. When it happens they are usually caught off balance and, without awareness of any viable alternative, contact a lawyer for advice and guidance.
But here's the thing –lawyers are well trained in the art of litigation, but not many are well trained in the art of alternative dispute resolution.
Alternative dispute resolution is a skill, like any other skill, that must be learned through dedicated study and honed and refined through experience. Those skilled in the art of alternative dispute resolution can apply those skills to achieve effective early management and resolution of disputes without any need to engage in costly, time consuming and distracting litigation.
This is what you will get if you retain my services – expertise in the art of managing and resolving disputes early and cost effectively without the need for litigation.
When you retain my services you will get a package of qualifications, acquired skills and experience that that has the potential to spare you thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars and heaps of stress by steering you clear of litigation, or, if you are already caught up in litigation, extricate you from it early rather than after you have already incurred substantial legal costs.
Litigation should be the last resort to resolve your dispute, not the first.
Over the last 10 years owners and/or managers of a wide range of commercial entities and businesses including corporations, partnerships, trusts, joint ventures and franchises have benefited from utilizing my services. Their disputes have been resolved quicker and more cost effectively than would be the case if they resorted to unrestrained litigation. Additionally, valuable business relationships are protected and preserved rather than destroyed.
Most litigation lawyers, if you press them, will admit that there are usually no winners in the litigation 'justice' system. Many judges will tell you this, and that is why they strongly urge the parties to take genuine and reasonable steps to resolve and settle their dispute out of court using alternative dispute resolution strategies before fully committing themselves to the litigation pathway.
Many 'winners' at the end of litigation in fact feel like 'losers', because of time it took to get a final result, the stress experienced along the way, the diversion of time and resources away from core business activity and because very often the legal system fails to adequately compensate the winners for their real costs incurred in the litigation.
There has to be a better way, and there is.
I know this because from 1981 to 2000 I was fully engaged in the litigation system, firstly as a solicitor and then as a barrister. I know the litigation system extremely well. As a lawyer I have been involved in a wide range of disputes that have proceeded through the litigation system. I know full well the havoc it can wreak on the lives of the parties to the dispute, on their cash flow and on their businesses.
After concluding my Master degree and becoming an accredited mediator in 2000, my in depth study of “alternative dispute resolution” – its philosophy, methods and strategies – radically changed my whole outlook and approach to disputes and dispute resolution, including my approach to cases briefed to me as a barrister.
Before then, my stance used to be “how can I help you beat your adversary in the dispute by beating them at court”. My focus was on identifying the correct legal issues raised by a dispute and then working out how to win on those issues at a court hearing by the strength of my client's evidence, by attacking and weakening the other party's evidence and by the persuasive quality of my legal arguments.
My current stance is – what would it take, or what would need to happen, for the parties to this dispute to be willing to wrap it up early and call it a day so that they can get back to their core business and interests as quickly as possible with minimum financial, personal and business stress and disruption?
That is quite a radical shift in focus, don't you think?
My relevant qualifications and experience include -
When a business dispute arises the most essential and vital professional skill needed is the expertise and experience to bring about the early and cost effective management and resolution of the dispute.
The first step is to properly understand the dispute – its history, the parties, the key issues and the different perspectives and needs of the parties. The second step is to devise and propose a creative dispute resolution strategy and a process to implement the strategy. You might call this a tailor made blueprint or road map. The parties to the dispute are then asked to commit to the implementation of this blueprint. Once they fully commit, by signing the dispute resolution agreement, the real work begins. And everyone has work to do, not just me.
I am a passionate believer in working for clients on a "pay on results" basis. If these terms are offered it means that I will only get paid if I obtain a successful outcome for the client or the parties to a dispute where the definition of a 'successful outcome' is expressly defined in our signed agreement. Of course terms apply to qualify for this offer. A client must qualify for this offer and a client must fully comply with the terms.
CONSIDER THIS - How many other professionals do you know who are willing to put themselves on the line like this?
Why work on a 'pay on results' basis?
Because it makes perfect sense when you think about it. Such terms conform to marketplace expectation just about everywhere else and in every other industry. It is also a just and fair model of service delivery.
This is the market place working in optimal fashion - as it should. A fair price for the value delivered. Payment is based on outcomes delivered rather than time spent irrespective of outcome achieved.
So this website presents to the public a range of dispute resolution services offered by a highly skilled professional, trained in various methods of dispute analysis, dispute management and dispute resolution strategies who is taking a clear an unambiguous stand on this issue.
Provided the client or the parties that seek to retain my services agree to abide with my terms for providing my services on this basis then they will secure my services on that basis.
Integral to the service model that I bring to the market place is the concept of self-determination and empowerment.
I want to empower people as much as possible to resolve their own disputes using a format, methods and strategies that, with appropriate expert assistance will allow them to maintain total control and ownership of their dispute from beginning to end AND STAY OUT OF THE COURTS AND TRIBUNALS.
I want to be part of the vanguard of dispute resolvers that are slowly but surely educating the public that there is a better way than locking themselves into combat mode and seeking to resolve their disputes by employing lawyers to fight their battles in courts and tribunals where through the entire process they hand over all the control and power to influence and decide the outcome of the dispute to their lawyers and the judges who ultimately decide who wins and who loses.
UNDERSTAND THIS - In the majority of disputes that proceed in this fashion there are no Winners, just Losers and masses of discontent. This is why people love to hate lawyers and the legal system even if they can claim to have "won" the case in court. In most cases the price they had to pay to be the "winner" left them with little joy and satisfaction at the end of it all.
I want to bring a different model of dispute resolution to the forefront of peoples minds and be part of an active education campaign to show and convince as many people as we can that there is a better way.
My tools of trade to expertly assist people in dispute to manage and resolve their dispute as quickly and cost effectively as possible and with the minimum amount of stress, bother and disruption of their personal lives are these -