In-house Professional Development training

Dispute Resolution Structured Training Programme

Dispute resolution in civil cases is one of the key skills a successful lawyer needs. And if you need the best training in this vital subject, you should look no further than The University of Law.

Our structured and highly interactive training programme for solicitors with 0-3 PQE is based on relevant, realistic case studies. Taught on an in-house basis by experienced practitioners, each of the modules in the programme can be studied separately and combine technical expertise with practical skills that can be instantly applied in practice.

Organisations select a relevant programme from our list of short face-to-face modules, which can be attended individually or as part of a structured programme. Modules are then delivered by our highly experienced trainers at various times throughout the year.  At the moment, all our modules are run from our Moorgate Centre. 

The programme is based around two case studies – one concerning a contractual dispute between two manufacturing businesses and the other covering a series of disputes between a property development company and its bank. These provide the vehicle for dealing with disputes in the domain of the Queen’s Bench Division (non-specialist courts) and of the Commercial Court. International aspects are included so that issues arising on cross-border disputes are covered. 

The modules available are as follows:

This course focuses on the practical and procedural issues to be addressed prior to the commencement of proceedings. Starting with the conduct of the initial client meeting, and finishing with the response to a letter of claim, the delegates will consider these issues from the perspective of both claimant and defendant. In keeping with the court’s approach to litigation being the last resort, there will be particular attention to ADR. The following areas are included:

  • The initial client interview
  • Engagement letters, focusing on scope of instructions and funding
  • Preservation of evidence from the outset
  • Maintaining document privilege from the outset
  • Choosing the appropriate court
  • Pre-action CPR requirements
  • ADR
  • Content of a letter of claim
  • Responding to a letter of claim

Maximum number of delegates: 16

This course focuses on negotiation in purely contentious matters. The delegates will conduct three negotiations during the day on a 1:1 or 1:2 basis (dependant on group numbers) and take part in a plenary ‘fishbowl’ negotiation which focuses on negotiation styles and tactics. All negotiations will be based on the case studies. The following areas are included:

  • Case preparation before a negotiation
  • Planning for the negotiation
  • Management of client’s expectations
  • Common negotiation styles
  • Negotiation tactics
  • Characteristics of successful negotiators

Maximum number of delegates: 12

This course provides practical instruction on the preparation and consideration of statements of case. In the context of the case studies, the delegates will draft documentation, review defective documentation and deal with amendments. One session is devoted to service issues. The following areas are included:

  • Claim form
  • Service of claim documents within and outside of the jurisdiction
  • Particulars of claim
  • Defence
  • Reply
  • Requests for further information
  • Amendments to statements of case
  • Counterclaims and additional claims against third parties
  • Lists of issues

Maximum number of delegates: 16

This course focuses on identification of the issues in dispute, consideration of the most persuasive evidence available to determine each issue, and the rules for the proper production in court of different types of evidence. Using the case study documents, the delegates will conduct an issue analysis during the morning and evaluate evidence. Exercises in the afternoon include the drafting of evidentiary notices. The following areas are included:

  • Identification of issues in dispute
  • Proof, weight, relevance and admissibility
  • Lay witnesses of fact
  • Expert evidence
  • Documentary evidence
  • Real evidence
  • Authenticity of documents
  • Hearsay notices
  • Notices to prove documents and admit facts
  • Preparation for trial and last minute evidential issues

Maximum number of delegates: 16

This course guides delegates through the project management of a dispute to trial. This is a practical course in which the delegates, in the context of one the case studies, will plan the allocation of resources, understand how to assess the time and costs involved in the conduct of the dispute, and thus formulate a case management plan for internal purposes and presentation to the court and to the client, particularly with regard to the preparation of costs budgets. The following areas are included:

  • The concept of project management in dispute resolution
  • A checklist for pre-trial preparation
  • Considering available internal and external resources
  • Time and cost planning
  • Allowing for eventualities
  • Court requirements
  • The client’s perspective
  • Costs budgets
  • Failure to comply with case management directions

Maximum number of delegates: 12

This course reviews all aspects of this fundamental area of dispute resolution. During the day, in the context of the case studies, the delegates will determine whether documents are discloseable, consider whether their own client’s disclosure is complete, prepare a list, and critically review the opponent’s disclosures. The following areas are included:

  • Addressing disclosure and privilege with the client
  • The meaning of ‘documents’ including electronic data
  • Pre-action disclosure
  • Standard disclosure
  • Disclosure in the Commercial Court
  • Lists of documents
  • Inspection
  • Identifying omissions in the opponent’s disclosure
  • Request for specific disclosure
  • Legal advice privilege
  • Litigation privilege
  • Confidential and ‘without prejudice’ documents
  • Mistaken disclosure

Maximum number of delegates: 16

This course addresses effective interview techniques and the rules relating to witness statements. By way of practical exercises using the case studies, the delegates will practise the interviewing of lay witnesses, preparation of a witness statement, and the consideration of a defective statement. The following areas are included:

  • Preparation for, and conduct of, a witness interview
  • Purpose and formal requirements of witness statements
  • Documentary exhibits
  • Witness familiarisation
  • The mischief of coaching
  • Pt 32.5
  • Alterations to witness statements
  • Objecting to content of opponent’s witness statements
  • Practical problems

Maximum number of delegates: 12

This course deals with the rules relating to the appointment of experts and the formulation and use of expert evidence. With reference to the case studies, the delegates will consider, in practical exercises, the appropriateness of expert evidence, the proper contents of an expert report and a pre-trial meeting between experts. The following areas are included:

  • Court approach to the appointment of experts
  • Finding an expert and identifying suitability
  • Retainer and instruction letters
  • Onerous terms experts seek to include
  • Privilege of exchanges with experts
  • Formal content of expert reports
  • Questions of an opposing expert
  • Use of experts individual to each party and appointment of a single joint expert
  • Discussions between experts

Maximum number of delegates: 12

This course focuses on the most common pre-trial hearings and applications conducted by solicitors. During the morning, the delegates will review the rules on directions hearings and have the opportunity to practise a CMC. More substantive interim applications will be covered in the afternoon, again with the opportunity for practise. All applications will relate to the case studies. The following areas are included:

  • Case management conferences
  • Allocation and listing hearings and pre-trial reviews
  • Directions hearings in the Commercial Court
  • Strike-out
  • Summary judgment
  • Specific disclosure
  • Requests for further information
  • Joinder of additional parties
  • Security for costs

Maximum number of delegates: 8

This course deals with the key aspects of this important dispute resolution mechanism and allows the delegates to experience the process in role play scenarios based on the case studies. The delegates will conduct two mediations during the day. The following areas are included:

  • Types of mediation
  • Choosing an appropriate mediator
  • The Mediation Agreement
  • Preparatory steps for the solicitor, including pre-mediation meetings, exchanges and directions
  • Confidentiality
  • Role of the solicitor during the mediation
  • The mediation process
  • Ethical considerations and practical problems which can arise during the mediation
  • Advantages and disadvantages of mediation

Maximum number of delegates: 12

This course covers the fundamental rules of this popular form of dispute resolution. Both domestic and international arbitration are covered. Tribunal advocacy is included within the practical exercises in the conduct of a directions hearing. The following areas are included:

  • Arbitration Act 1996
  • UNCITRAL model law and rules
  • Seat of arbitration and applicable law
  • Jurisdiction of the court and stay of court proceedings
  • Choice and constitution of arbitral tribunal
  • Reference to arbitration
  • Jurisdiction, duties and powers of the tribunal
  • Points of claim and defence
  • Directions
  • Conduct of the proceedings
  • Disclosure and evidence
  • Arbitral awards and their enforcement
  • Challenging an award

Maximum number of delegates: 12

This course on Part 36 and settlement generally, covers the following:

  • Form and content of settlement agreements (how to draft)
  • Enforceability of settlement agreements
  • Tactical consideration
  • CPR and case law update on P36 offers and settlement agreements.

This course considers the following :

  • Applying for permission to appeal
  • Grounds of appeal
  • Content of appellant’s and respondent’s notices
  • The appeal hearing
  • General rules for award of costs (standard and indemnity basis)
  • A consideration of the summary and detailed assessment of costs.

This half day courses, covers the following:

  • Obtaining information on assets of the Judgement Debtor
  • Methods for enforcing judgements within the jurisdiction (including bankruptcy and insolvency orders)
  • Principles and practicalities of enforcement outside of the jurisdiction.

This additional course may also be of interest to those who have little experience of corporate crime or who wish to further develop practical skills for dealing with regulators and advising clients on investigations.

It covers the key aspects of corporate crime, from the start of an investigation to the point when a decision is taken on prosecution. The case study is an investigation into corruption allegedly committed by an international trading company based in the UK. By the end of the course delegates will be able to:

  • Advise on the criminal investigation powers of the Police (economic crimes), HMRC, SFO, FSA and OFT
  • Explain the stages of an investigation
  • Manage the reaction to the execution of a search warrant at a client’s premises
  • Challenge a search warrant
  • Advise clients on, and participate effectively in, a compulsory interview under s2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987
  • Respond appropriately to media interest
  • Advise the client on steps to be taken during an investigation to avoid prosecution if possible, alternatively to be in the best position
    to defend charges
  • Influence the approach of the investigator

Maximum number of delegates: 12


This structured programme of short face-to-face modules is designed to provide junior lawyers with a thorough grounding in the principal areas of civil dispute resolution practice. The training is available on an in-house basis for organisations with a number of delegates – or through membership of our dispute resolution training consortium. The programme aims to provide progressive development, but modules also work on a standalone basis, allowing organisations to select topics to suit their specific needs.


The programme is aimed at solicitors within their first three years of qualification or those who are returning to the practice area and looking to refresh their knowledge.

  • Choose from our programme of modules to build an incremental learning programme to meet your needs
  • Provides a thorough grounding in the key areas of civil dispute resolution practice
  • Modules provide progressive development of technical expertise, procedural understanding and skills – reinforcing experience gained in the office
  • Designed and delivered by experienced practitioners
  • Highly interactive, with a focus on practical tasks and realistic case studies to ensure learning is directly applicable in the workplace
  • All courses include a case law / CPR update. 
Find out more

Call +44 (0)1483 216 663

The programme runs throughout the year – get in touch with our inhouse bookings team for a timetable.

All Dispute Resolution Training Consortia courses run out of our London Moorgate centre, but if you are interested in running one of the courses at your offices, get in touch with our in house bookings team. 

In-house course fees vary according to requirements. Consortium course fees are split between the organisations attending. Please contact us directly for a personalised quotation to meet your needs.

To discuss how we can meet your organisation's requirements and for more information on our banking and finance consortium, please call our Client Contact Centre on +44 (0)1483 216 663 or e-mail

Important information

We go to great lengths to ensure that the information provided is correct at the time of publication. However, we reserve the right to withdraw or change, for any reason and without notice, any of the programmes and/or to alter tuition fees, locations, entry requirements and/or the facilities and/or services available from or provided by or on behalf of the University. Please note that the choice of subjects may be limited by considerations of timetable, staffing and/or available places on a course.


Each one-day module accounts for six CPD hours, with three CPD hours awarded for the three-hour module.

Dispute Resolution Training Consortia 

We also offer our Dispute Resolution Training Consortium and Advanced Dispute Resolution Training Consortium. To find out more about our Consortia training programmes please contact our Client Contact Centre on +44 (0)1483 216 663.

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