ADR Systems is celebrating its 25th anniversary as a leading provider of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services. The company is headquartered in Chicago but provides mediation, arbitration and other dispute resolution services throughout the United States upon request. The organization was founded in 1994 by current company president Marc Becker.
“Since the beginning, ADR Systems has been on the forefront of changing the perception of dispute resolution in Chicago,” said Becker. “ADR saves everyone valuable time and money, and our experienced panel of neutral mediators and arbitrators are the key to our success – they get it done.”
Becker started ADR Systems in response to a personal legal situation. He ended up in protracted litigation for three and a half years, only to settle the case the day before the trial. With the backlog of cases in the Cook County Circuit, Becker realized the need for a more efficient process or ‘system’ to resolve disputes. He did his research, founded ADR Systems and began building a neutral panel, beginning with five neutrals.
“The growth has been absolutely phenomenal,” said Hon. Thomas P. Durkin, (Ret.), ADR Systems’ longest tenured neutral. “When I first started, everyone knew about arbitration, but mediation was in its infancy. Back then, mediations were probably less than 20 percent of the business at ADR Systems. Now it’s flipped and the use of mediation has grown tremendously. Marc managed to take a premature infant and raise it to adulthood.”
That growth has included the expansion of the neutral panel and staff, including the creation of a submissions department to expedite the submission of case materials for the neutral to review prior to a session. ADR Systems has expanded and moved offices three times during the past quarter-century. As more and more cases were coming to ADR Systems, there needed to be more space to accommodate them. The company now has facilities on two floors at 20 North Clark Street in the heart of downtown Chicago.
Today, ADR Systems has a large panel of neutrals, including four introduced this year and more on the way. The panel is composed primarily of former judges and experienced attorneys. They help resolve cases in a variety of personal injury, commercial and family law matters. Neutrals at ADR Systems settle about 91% of mediated cases and the company is an industry leader in providing efficient arbitration.
“Our neutrals are not employees but are independent contractors,” noted Becker. “They have no ownership in the company, which allows for complete neutrality when resolving a case.” This commitment to neutrality, getting cases settled, and efficiency in the process are the cornerstones of the company’s success and will carry ADR Systems into the future.
“ADR Systems has helped to change the legal industry in Chicago, increasing the awareness of dispute resolution. Our goal going forward is advancing our abilities and panel while providing the same excellent service,” said Becker. “We will continue to bring in the best quality neutrals and will do what we do best: resolve disputes.”
To learn more about ADR Systems’ story, click here.