This helpful article by Jonathan Lux of St Philips Stone Chambers provides a helpful overview of two alternatives to litigation; Mediation and Early Resolution (ER). 

Although mediation is the increasingly popular method of resolving disputes outside of the huge costs and risks of the litigation process, ER has one distinctive quality. The neutral resolver works with the lawyers on each side, to see what the essential information and evidence is needed to enable decision-making and, ultimately, doing a deal. The aim is to fast track the disclosure and evidence of litigation, but in a far less expensive way, and with the aim of exploring the strengths of a party's case. 

Perhaps a perfect solution where a mediation might otherwise fail due to parties having unrealistic expectations of their case and outcome at trial.