Not available in 2020/21
LL4L1      Half Unit
The Theory and Practice of Alternative Commercial Dispute Resolution

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Jan Kleinheisterkamp (Convener) NAB 7.09

Dr Philipp Paech NAB 7.21


This course is available on the LLM (extended part-time), LLM (full-time), MSc in Law, Anthropology and Society and University of Pennsylvania Law School LLM Visiting Students. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course will be relevant to the following LLM specialisms: Commercial Law; International Business Law.

This course is capped at 30 students. Students must apply through Graduate Course Choice on LSE for You.



Course content

Given the high cost and risk of litigation and arbitration, parties to commercial transactions have an interest in managing, and hedging against, the risk of future disputes with their business partners and others. This course introduces and explores the different methods of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), i.e. those methods for settling commercial disputes out of courts, both from a theoretical and a practical perspective. The first half of the course lays the foundations of alternative resolution of commercial disputes, exploring its history, socio-legal context and its embedding in procedural law and reform. The second half will then focus on the particularities of disputes in commodities trade, including shipping, maritime and insurance; construction; IP; financial markets; regulatory and inter-agency / interstate disputes and international tax disputes.

The course prepares for LL4L7 – Advanced Negotiation and Mediation. It complements LL4C5 – Fundamentals of International Commercial Arbitration and LL4E7 – Investment Treaty Law.


20 hours of seminars in the MT. 2 hours of seminars in the ST.

There will be a Reading Week in week 6 of MT.

Formative coursework

One 2,000 word essay.

Indicative reading

H Brown / A Marriott, ADR Practice and Principles (Sweet & Maxwell 2011); S Roberts / M Palmer, Dispute Processes: ADR and the Primary Forms of Dispute Resolution (2nd edn, CUP 2005); R Fisher / W Ury, Getting to Yes: Negotiating an Agreement Without Giving In (2011)


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the summer exam period.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2019/20: Unavailable

Average class size 2019/20: Unavailable

Controlled access 2019/20: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills