Not available in 2022/23
LL4L1      Half Unit
The Theory and Practice of Alternative Commercial Dispute Resolution

This information is for the 2022/23 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) 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.

Key facts

Department: Law School

Total students 2021/22: Unavailable

Average class size 2021/22: Unavailable

Controlled access 2021/22: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

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