Magazine article The CPA Journal

The BDO Seidman ADR System

Magazine article The CPA Journal

The BDO Seidman ADR System

Article excerpt

After reviewing his litigation files and noticing that, even in successful cases, the cost of litigation was extremely high, Scott Univer, general counsel for BDO Seidman, obtained firm approval to design an ADR system for certain test offices. All new, or renewed, BDO Seidman client engagement letters in the test offices contain clauses that first require mediation and then arbitration in the event of a dispute that cannot be settled by the parties themselves.

Before implementing the system, it was necessary to train partners in its use. The firm's counsel prepared an outline for the partners that briefly explained the process and provided a list of the most frequently asked questions about the process and appropriate answers.

Partners were concerned about the firm not being as competitive as others if it required adherence to this pioneering system. Experience over the last two years has shown that this is not a real problem. Almost all clients signed up to participate in the system. Some, or their attorneys, had questions which, if not answerable by a partner, were answered by Mr. …

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