DBB Law Home - Practice areas - Dispute resolution - ADR - Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Barthelemy Jean-Emmanuel

    Mons (Belgium)

  • Brulard Yves

    Brussels (Belgium)

  • Demolin Pierre

    Brussels (Belgium)

Dispute resolution

ADR - Alternative Dispute Resolution

ADR methods are an effective alternative to conflict resolution through the Courts (as offered by general law) whether in national or cross-border disputes. They include Mediation and Arbitration (whether ad hoc or though a recognised arbitration institute); Combinations of Mediation and Arbitration (often referred to as “Med-Arb” and “Arb-Med”); Reconciliation; Appeal to an Expert; Collaborative resolution and other means of extra-judicial conflict resolution.

DBB will negotiate and draft contract clauses incorporating ADR procedures in contract documentation according to our client’s requirements. We will support and/or represent you in ADR procedures and ensure recognition and enforceability of awards. Where appropriate we may either challenge an award or seek its validation. ADR methods provide the legal and procedural mechanisms that permit DBB’s lawyers to play a pioneering role in collective dispute resolution (class actions) and cross border conflict resolution.

Our ADR lawyer’s skills offer alternatives to or complement the legal practices of our colleagues from the corporate, commercial and employment department.


Ad hoc arbitration -  the parties must determine the rules of arbitration and appoint the arbitrators themselves in such proceedings.

Institutional arbitration - an arbitration procedure brought before an arbitration institute offering the advantage that the rules of procedure are determined in advance and administrative back-up and facilities will be available as well as support for the arbitrators.

Commercial arbitration – used to settle commercial conflicts between parties, relying on one or more arbitrators.

Investment Arbitration – typically concerns international law and may concern Public, International Law and Investment Treaty arrangements as well private international law.

Recognition and enforceability of an arbitrational award – Under the 1958 (New York) Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards an arbitration award made in a state which has ratified the Convention shall be recognized and enforceable in any other State that has ratified the Convention.

Exequatur – a legal procedure for the enforcement of a foreign judgment also used to refer to a document published by an authority granting the right of execution on the territory of that authority’s’ jurisdiction.

Mediation – a structured procedure where parties look for a resolution of their dispute on a voluntary basis with the assistance of a mediator.

Expert determination – an independent expert makes findings of fact.

Reconciliation -  a procedure where parties look for a resolution of their dispute on a voluntary basis, assisted by a reconciler.

MED-ARB & ARB-MED – hybrid procedures combining arbitration and mediation.

Settlement – a contract or agreement between parties which removes the need for an arbitrator to make an award decision on a dispute.

Annulment of an arbitration award – in some cases an “unsuccessful” party may be able to apply for the annulment of an arbitration award before the national courts.

Collective Redress – Class actions, group actions and collective interest actions are means by which parties seek collective redress.

Dispute resolution clause – Parties can agree in their contracts how a future dispute should be settled.

Validation of an award – under such a procedure an public body or authority gives official recognition to an arbitral award or a settlement thereby conferring on it an additional degree of enforceability.