2. What Form of ADR should be adopted?
The parties should first refer to the terms in their contracts (i.e. the contract(s) that are providing the subject matter of their disputes).
In most commercial contracts (e.g. construction, insurance), there will normally be an arbitration clause stating that when there are disputes arising from the contract, the parties should refer to arbitration before instituting legal proceedings. The parties are therefore bound by their contracts to go for arbitration before commencing any civil action in Court. [see: Introduction - Arbitration]
Although mediation is the ADR recommended by the Judiciary, the parties are free to choose either arbitration or mediation to resolve their dispute.
No party shall be compelled to go to mediation as it is purely voluntary.
If the parties chose to go for arbitration, the award made by the arbitrator(s) would be final and binding on the parties.
On the contrary, a mediator would not impose a settlement. It is entirely for the parties to decide whether to settle and if so on what terms. A settlement after mediation is an agreement rather than an enforceable award.