Mediation and Arbitration Law Firm

Trusted, expert mediation and arbitration lawyers in London, Ontario.

In fact, more people are turning to alternative dispute resolution processes to resolve their legal disputes. These are generally more cost- and time-effective than going to court. Moreover, they are often a lot more appropriate and beneficial. 

At Fosters Law, we will always consider alternative dispute resolution processes before rushing off to court. We have been involved in thousands of alternative dispute resolutions and can help you get the best possible resolution for your case.

Alternative Dispute Resolution In Ontario

When most people think of legal disputes, they think of courtrooms and litigation proceedings. However, not all legal disputes are battled out in court. In fact, the best lawyers are usually the ones who know when to avoid court.

Taking matters to court can be incredibly costly and time-consuming. As such, there are several alternative methods to resolve legal disputes to consider first.

Initially, most alternate dispute resolution proceedings were used in family law matters. Now, however, they are common in almost all practice areas of law and are widely used in commercial law and personal injury cases. They are becoming increasingly popular as a faster, more cost-effective alternative to court. The most common alternative dispute resolution processes are mediation and arbitration.


The mediation process is one of the most common methods of alternative dispute resolution and often forms part of the litigation process.

Mediation proceedings aim to get all the parties to agree on an outcome. If all the parties agree on an outcome, then they are bound to their agreement. It is the parties’ agreement, and not any determination made by a third party, that binds them.

If the parties do not agree on an outcome, then the mediation process is considered unsuccessful. The parties to the mediation proceedings can then proceed with arbitration or litigation.

An accredited mediator facilitates this process. They guide the parties through the mediation. The mediator must be a neutral and impartial third party. A mediator cannot make decisions, find fault, or issue orders. Instead, they merely help the parties come to their own agreement.

Mediation is used in many different practice areas, including family law, insurance law and personal injury law. It is typically more time and cost-effective than other avenues of dispute resolution.


Arbitration is another popular method of alternative dispute resolution. It is a lot more formal than mediation proceedings. Arbitration also more closely resembles a trial (although it is less formal than a trial).

Unlike mediation, the parties involved in arbitration do not decide on the outcome of the dispute. Instead, this is done by an arbitrator (who plays a similar role to a judge in court proceedings). The arbitrator is an objective, impartial third party. There are different methods used to appoint arbitrators. Generally, the parties will have to agree on which arbitrator to use or which method to use to appoint the arbitrator.

The outcome of the arbitration is more binding than mediation, and cannot be changed unilaterally by one party. The arbitrator’s decision is final and binding, subject to any right of appeal detailed in the arbitration agreement.

Arbitration is widely used in many different areas of law. It is commonly used to deal with employment matters, family law, and insurance law. International arbitration is often used to resolve cross-border disputes.

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Why Use An Alternative Dispute Resolution?


Although the length of the proceedings depends on various factors, alternate dispute resolution is generally quicker than going to court. Because parties do not use the court system, they don’t have to wait for a court date or follow many of the time-consuming court procedures. They can take matters into their own hands and can have more control over when and where things take place.


Again, the costs involved in alternate dispute resolution proceedings depend on the parties and the matter being disputed. However, alternate dispute resolution is generally cheaper than going to court.

In addition, the parties and the mediator or arbitrator do not have to abide by the rules of the court. They have more control over the steps and procedures involved in the process. This allows for a much more efficient and cost-effective process.


Alternate dispute resolution is a lot more flexible than court proceedings. It allows the parties to use unique processes and solutions that are tailored to them and their needs. For example, as is often the case in family law, the best solution is usually a complex, unique solution that addresses their specific situation. Parties prefer to have the freedom to formulate solutions that are tailored to them and their needs.


Most court hearings are open to the public (unless there is a specific order otherwise). Mediation and arbitration, on the other hand, are confidential.

Trusted Mediation & Arbitration Lawyers In London Ontario

At Fosters Law, we have been helping clients with arbitration and mediation for decades. Although we provide quality legal services in many different practice areas, our focus is on insurance litigation and personal injury litigation. We respect and support the important role alternate dispute resolution plays in insurance law.

Professional Expertise

Situated in London, Ontario, we understand the importance of not jumping the gun and taking matters to court prematurely. Our own lawyers have handled thousands of mediation, negotiation, and arbitration cases. For over 50 years, we have been refining and enhancing our arbitration and mediation practice.

Our talented and dedicated legal team uses their extensive experience and state-of-the-art litigation support software to provide you with quality legal assistance.


As a law firm, we pride ourselves on being client-focused. We understand that most of our clients will be seeking legal advice during a stressful time, and we do our best to alleviate some of this stress. This has helped us establish ourselves as one of Ontario’s leading insurance law firms.

We have the skills and networks you need to make the most out of an alternative dispute resolution process.

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Favourable outcomes can be achieved without stepping foot in the courtroom through the use of mediation, negotiation and arbitration.

How We Can Help You

Understand The Best Way Forward

At Fosters Law, we have experienced lawyers who will help you understand all your options. We will explain the different paths you can take to resolve your dispute, outlining the benefits and drawbacks of each. Our lawyers will consider your case, and recommend which paths would be best for you. We want you to make the best, informed decision possible. The last thing we want is for you to waste time and money taking a matter to court that could have been more efficiently handled through alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.

Consider All Options

At Fosters Law, we will always consider all our options before taking something to court. Our law firm understands that taking something to court can be incredibly costly, stressful, complex, and time-consuming. In fact, we see taking something to court as a last resort only to be used when there is no better path available. We are here to help you, not waste your time and money. We have the experience to know when to take something to court and when to try and resolve it outside of the courtroom.

Help You Every Step Of The Way

If you decide to pursue alternative dispute resolution, we will be able to help you every step of the way. From ensuring that you secure a skilled mediator or arbitrator, to helping you tackle difficult issues, we want to help you achieve the best possible result. And if something is better suited to the courtroom, we have fearless and competent lawyers who will make sure that your legal needs are met!

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Frequently Asked Questions About Mediation & Arbitration

How To Choose Between Mediation and Arbitration 

Sometimes, mediation will be part of the litigation process. When this is the case, you will have to mediate instead of arbitrating the matter. Other times, however, you will be given a choice. If there is any chance the parties can reach a mutually beneficial agreement, then it is almost always better to mediate the matter.

Mediation will allow the parties to reach an agreement that works best for them that can be tailored to their needs. Moreover, if mediation is unsuccessful, parties have the option to arbitrate the matter. However, if the matter involves complex legal issues and the parties are unlikely to agree on an outcome, it might be better to arbitrate the matter. Additionally, if mediation has failed, then the next step is often arbitration.

It is best to contact a lawyer to help you decide whether you should use alternative dispute resolution procedures and, if so, which ones.

Can Lawyers Be Mediators?

Lawyers can be mediators. In fact, a lawyer’s intimate knowledge of the law generally helps them be a good, neutral mediator. If a lawyer is a mediator, they have several duties that are set out in Chapter 5 of the Law Society of Ontario’s Rules of Professional Conduct.

However, a mediator does not have to be a qualified lawyer. But, this does not mean anyone can mediate any matter. For example, to mediate a dispute in family law, you will have to complete some training and have some experience.

Do You Have To Have Legal Representation To Mediate A Matter? 

No, you don’t have to have a lawyer when you are mediating a matter. However, it is strongly advised that you have legal representation to ensure that you understand your rights and obligations. Furthermore, It is difficult for you to achieve a good outcome in mediation proceedings without good legal representation, especially if the other party has legal representation.

Do You Have To Have Legal Representation To Arbitrate A Matter? 

Yes you do, if you want your arbitration order to be enforceable in court. You have to get legal advice from an independent lawyer before you start arbitration. If you do not get this legal advice, then any order that the arbitrator makes will likely not be enforceable in court.

Is A Mediation Agreement Binding? 

Yes. When mediation is successful, the participants will often sign a minutes of settlement setting out what was agreed to at mediation. For example, if the mediation was dealing with the dissolution of a marriage, the settlement terms may be put into a separation agreement. As long as the settlement reached at mediation is put into a written document that is dated and signed by the parties and witnesses, it is a valid contract. This means that it is legally binding on the parties to the proceedings.

What If Mediating Parties Cannot Reach An Agreement? 

Usually, when parties agree to mediate, the mediation agreement provides that anything said at the mediation cannot later be used in an arbitration or in court. This allows the parties to have open and frank dialogue and encourages settlement.

If the mediation fails, everything discussed during the mediation remains private. While mediation is often successful, even failed mediations can lead to a resolution of the dispute. It is fairly common a few days after after a failed mediation for the parties to reconsider their positions and seek to settle their dispute.

If mediation does not help to achieve a resolution of the parties dispute, the parties still have the ability to pursue arbitration or litigation proceedings.

What is Mediation Arbitration? 

Mediation Arbitration is a hybrid process that combines mediation and arbitration. Essentially, the process begins by using mediation to resolve the dispute. If mediation is successful, then no arbitration is necessary. However, if mediation is unsuccessful, parties will move on to arbitration. If the mediator is a qualified arbitrator, then the mediator usually assumes the role of arbitrator in any subsequent arbitration proceedings.

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Do You Need Mediation & Arbitration Lawyers? Get In Touch.

Do you or your family members need mediation and arbitration lawyers? Are you unsure if you need mediation and arbitration lawyers? Well, we are here to help. At Fosters Law, we have a compassionate, diligent, and formidable team of lawyers that are here to meet our clients’ every legal need. We understand the significant value of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and want to help you make the most of them.

Our lawyers are happy to meet with you when, where, and however is most convenient, be it in person or virtually. Feel free to contact our law firm either by text, call, or email and schedule a free consultation.

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