In the 21st century, there is no denying that technology is indispensable in the workplace. The pandemic, acting as a catalyst for the increased use of remote working and virtual meetings, has only encouraged companies to consider what other technology can revolutionise their industry – with the legal sector being no exception.
Griffin Law has become well-versed in the benefits virtual meetings can have, for both its clients and fee earners. It has seen platforms like Zoom or Microsoft Teams become a common feature in litigation and in forms of alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”). With fee earners and clients being able to save an immeasurable amount of time and expense, the commercial advantages that this technology has facilitated are undeniable.
As expected with the growing involvement technology has had in the legal system, we have started to witness more advanced technology being utilised for ADR. The Abu Dhabi Global Market (“ADGM”) Arbitration Centre has revolutionised the delivery of mediation by launching the world’s first service that offers mediation in the metaverse. Whilst solicitors, clients and mediators alike have become accustomed to attending mediations virtually, the ADGM Arbitration Centre has utilised Web3 technology to allow participants to immerse themselves into a 3D office space. Intending to mimic the physical world, the initiative was developed to achieve a greater connection and engagement between the participants; attempting to make attendees feel as though they are in the same room as each other.
By using the latest Web3 technology available, ADGM’s “mediation in the metaverse” service will provide a more immersive experience, enhancing virtual mediation by allowing the participants to access a 3D office space.
However, the impact of such an inventive step must be considered. It can be anticipated that tech-savvy clients and/or legal professionals will likely embrace this new development, but equally one must question whether this step is truly warranted. Given that the metaverse has been seen utilising avatars to represent individuals in the virtual world; can the use of cartoon-like individuals encourage engagement more than physically seeing the other party and witnessing their body language, whether in person or via video call? Whilst it cannot be ignored that the implementation of this technology is remarkable, it is vital that those engaging in ADR do not forget that in-person mediation, or any other form of ADR, is still an option and will likely be preferred by many.
As a dispute resolution firm, Griffin Law is familiar with the importance of ADR and has experienced the advantages that are associated with attending ADR meetings remotely. Additionally, we have previously discussed, (https://www.griffin.law/compulsory-alternative-dispute-resolution/) that the implementation of compulsory ADR has been considered in England and Wales for an extended period of time. With the narrative about the implementation of compulsory ADR continuing, it is likely that the increased use of virtual meeting spaces and the benefits firms and clients have experienced when using this technology for ADR will be key factors in arguing for its enactment.
Griffin Law is a dispute resolution firm comprising innovative, proactive, tenacious and commercially-minded lawyers. We pride ourselves on our close client relationships, which are uniquely enhanced by our transparent fee guarantee and a commitment to share the risks of litigation. If you have any specific questions regarding a dispute, or mediation of any kind, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01732 52 59 23.
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