About Mediation:



What is mediation?

Mediation is a process whereby an independent third party is engaged by the agreement of all parties to assist them in attempting to resolve their dispute. In particular:
•    The mediator is neutral in the dispute. He or she will not make a judgment, apportion blame, or criticise any of the parties. The parties have the chance to revisit aspects of their case, and regain control of the dispute.  
•    Mediation is a voluntary and flexible process, that envisaging the parties wishing to attempt to resolve their differences and allowing them the freedom to decide how best to do that.
•    Each party will have with them someone with the necessary authority to settle the dispute.
•    The mediation is confidential between the parties and the mediator. There will be no settlement until it is in writing, signed by all parties.
•    Everything that the mediator is told in confidence will be kept in confidence. This enables the mediator to build up a unique picture of what each of the parties needs in order for them to resolve the dispute.


What type of dispute does it apply to?
There are few disputes that cannot be mediated.
In the commercial world these include disputes relating to construction and engineering, contract disputes, professional negligence, property, disputed debts, employment, supply contracts, banking disputes, intellectual property and IT, shareholders, partnership, and insolvency.
Mediation is in fact very useful in resolving disputes in private life, and resolves disputes involving schools, neighbours, families, and health authorities.
 

Does it work?
Mediation is successful in resolving over 80% of commercial disputes within one mediation day. Those that do not settle on the day frequently settle shortly afterwards as the parties have had the chance to enter into dialogue with the other party and also reconsider what they need themselves.


What if it doesn’t work?
The chances of a commercial dispute being settled within the mediation day are over 80%. Even if the dispute does not settle, it is rare for the parties to regard the mediation as a wasted exercise. The reasons for this include:
•    The parties have had a chance to review the entire dispute on a confidential basis and restore lines of communication.
•    Disputes frequently settle by continuing negotiation shortly afterwards.
•    If the parties cannot settle, then they know that they have at least attempted that and can focus on continuing with the formal dispute process (e.g. litigation, adjudication, arbitration).


How long does it take?
The parties decide the length of the mediation but most disputes are reached within one mediation day. However, the length of the mediation usually involves a consideration a combination of a number of matters such as the value of the dispute, the complexity of the dispute, the number of parties and attendees involved, and the amount of preparation undertaken by the parties prior to the day.


What will it cost?
The cost of a mediation is determined by a number of factors, in particular the sum of money involved, the complexity of the dispute, and the number of parties. However, each dispute is different and the fee is agreed after discussing the nature of the mediation with the parties and their representatives.


What if I refuse to mediate?
You lose the chance to settle the dispute on terms that are acceptable to you, and therefore avoid the stress, riks, time, and cost of the dispute continuing.
Although every case turns on its own unique facts, it is certainly the case that the courts disapprove of parties that refuse to mediate unless there are rare circumstances. This manifests itself in the exercise of the widespread costs discretion given to judges. Even a successful party may lose some of its costs entitlement if the judge decides that the dispute was one that could and should have been mediated. In short, parties refuse to mediate at their peril.


How do I take things further?
Please submit an enquiry form LINK and we will be happy to contact you by whatever method suits you. Alternatively, please do feel free to pick up the phone LINK. All such enquiries are dealt with in the strictest of confidence, and of course are entirely without obligation.
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