It is easy to forget that the parties to disputes – those who actually have a vested interest in the outcome, and who pay our bills – are very rarely in the business of dispute resolution.  They have businesses they wish to run, and disputes are generally costly distractions to those businesses.  I would venture to add that the cost, uncertainty and delay in traditional litigation (and sometimes arbitration, for that matter) is unwelcome in a way that commercial advice geared to project delivery is not.

This paper was presented to the Arbitrators’ & Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand annual conference in Auckland on 26 July 2013.