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I won't see you in court - ADR and the launch of digital dispute resolution rules

Apr 29, 2021

Author: Phil Leonard

The UK Jurisdiction Taskforce last week published its Digital Dispute Resolution Rules (DDRR). 

The DDRR are an alternative dispute resolution mechanism aimed at facilitating the rapid and cost-effective resolution of commercial disputes, particularly those involving novel digital technologies such as cryptoassets, cryptocurrencies, smart contracts, distributed ledger technology and fintech applications (often referred to as being “on-chain” in respect of the underpinning blockchain technology). 

The DDRR are ground-breaking in that they allow for: 

•    Arbitral or expert dispute resolution in very short periods 
•    Arbitrators to implement decisions directly on-chain using a private key 
•    Optional anonymity of the parties 

Whilst the DDRR have unique features particular for use in digital transactions, they share common characteristics with other alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms, namely: 
•    Speed 
•    Cost-efficiency  
•    Flexible, imaginative and practical outcomes to disputes 

Whether contracting on-chain, or via a good old-fashioned Microsoft Word document, we would encourage parties to consider whether to incorporate alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms into contracts. 

If you have any questions about ADR, whether incorporating clauses into contracts or due to an ongoing dispute, please contact Waterfront here and a member of the Commercial team or the IP & Disputes team will contact you for a free initial consultation.