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Dispute resolution provider JAMS is bolstering its East Coast presence with the acquisition of ADR Associates. The move gives JAMS seven arbitrators and mediators in New York and Washington, D.C., along with an entry into the dispute resolution training practice. Under the terms of the deal, the seven principals at ADR Associates will become full-time, exclusive neutrals for JAMS as of Jan. 1. Steve Price, the president and CEO of Irvine-based JAMS, said the combination is part of the firm’s plan to become a national dispute resolution service specializing in complex commercial cases. Among the neutrals joining JAMS are ADR Associates founders Michael Lewis, Linda Singer, Margaret Shaw and Carol Wittenberg. The neutrals have served as mediators and arbitrators on cases involving the clean-up of Superfund sites, the expansion of the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and employee class actions at Amtrak, CBS and American Express. “At JAMS we’re focusing on complex cases, and one of the wonderful things here is that that’s what they focus on in their ADR practices as well,” said Price. JAMS will also acquire the facilities that ADR Associates maintains in Boston and Chicago, though it’s still undetermined whether the handful of neutrals in those offices will join JAMS. JAMS’s board of directors voted to approve the deal Nov. 8. Price said a confidentiality clause prevented him from discussing any financial terms of the transaction. Founded in 1990, ADR Associates provides a wide range of dispute resolution services, including dispute prevention and training. The firm administers dispute resolution training programs within several corporations, including Ford Motor Co., Bell Atlantic and Merrill Lynch & Co. ADR Associates also has a federal government practice that handles disputes between government agencies, and employee disputes within agencies. “We didn’t have to join forces with JAMS, but we couldn’t resist the opportunity to build a national provider that is not just bigger, but, most importantly, better,” ADR Associates Managing Partner Lewis said in a statement. “This association will allow each organization to maintain its core principles while leveraging the strengths of the other for the mutual benefit of clients, neutrals and staff.” Earlier this year, JAMS expanded its New York presence by adding a second office in midtown Manhattan. As a result of the combination with ADR Associates, JAMS will now maintain three offices in New York, and two offices each in D.C., Boston and Chicago.

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