Mediation usually takes place in a single day when the parties and the mediator meet at a single venue. There are joint and separate meetings with the mediator to examine and clarify the issues and needs of the parties.The mediator often shuttles between the parties helping them to overcome deadlock and find a way of working co-operatively towards a settlement that is mutually acceptable.
Mediation provides an effective, fast, simple, low cost answer. It often involves a simple and innovative solution which can also enable successful business relations to continue. It is already the norm in many countries, and fast growing in this country.
Often negotiations fail because of breakdown of communication, emotional involvement and a host of other reasons. Mediation overcomes these problems and it gets away from the traditional adversarial process (such as litigation) which leaves wounds that damage and can even destroy relationships.
It can avoid the uncertainties, delays, and high cost of litigation (not only in terms of legal fees, but expensive management time), as well as the attendant publicity.
– Saving parties time and costs. Resolution can be achieved at a fraction of the cost, and within a fraction of the time of taking a case through the courts.
– Avoiding the risk, uncertainty, and stress of imposed decisions by returning control of the outcome to the parties.
– A fixed, low, and predetermined cost.
– Allowing flexible creative solutions which are not available within other means of dispute resolution.
– Provision of an effective remedy.
– Permitting successful business relationships to continue, rather than letting them be wounded or destroyed by the adversarial process.
– Preliminary contact between the parties and the mediator to agree arrangements.
– Brief written summaries by the parties in advance to inform the mediator and focus on the real issues.
– A mediation day with the mediator, attended by decision makers of each party including joint meetings as appropriate, and private confidential meetings between mediator and each party separately. The private meetings are used to examine important issues, and needs, encourage openness about weaknesses and strengths, and to discuss options for settlement.
Over 70% of mediations conducted by a trained mediator are successful and settle on the day.
Mediation is private, conducted without prejudice (so that no one can later rely on or even quote anything said during the course of the mediation), and with absolute confidentiality.
The Mediator cannot disclose anything said to him in a private meeting with one party unless that party agrees he may.
Nothing said even in the joint meetings can be quoted or used outside the mediation. Even the settlement can remain confidential if that is what the parties agree.
For more details of the mediator’s duty of confidentiality and generally our code of conduct click here .
To see the confidentiality clause in the model Mediation Agreement, click here.
He has a number of roles during the process.
– manages it.
– acts as facilitator to help the parties overcome deadlock and find a way of working together towards a mutually acceptable solution.
– is a catalyst. An independent neutral, committed to helping the parties settle but without any stake in the dispute.
– gathers information, identifies common ground, and the real (as compared to the perceived) issues.
– is a reality tester, helping parties take a private realistic view of the dispute.
– becomes a sponge to soak up the feelings and frustrations of the parties and help channel their energies into a positive approach.
– acts as a problem solver to help the parties construct the outcome that best meets their needs.
– brings optimism, encouragement and hope to a seemingly hopeless situation while leaving the settlement decisions firmly with the parties.
The whole purpose of mediation is to bring opposing parties together, and help them craft a solution. It is their problem, and a solution needs to be found that is fair for the real needs of both parties
There can only be a settlement if both sides agree.
But any settlement reached would be as binding and enforceable as a settlement arrived at in any other form of dispute resolution.
Indeed, lawyers have a duty to advise clients in any dispute of the advantages of mediation. But why wait until then? Mediation can and should best take place before litigation.
Even if litigation is underway, mediation can still take place—indeed, judges in England will ask whether mediation has been considered, and can penalise in costs if it has not.
To find out more go to the details of our fee structure by clicking here
In the unlikely event that the mediation does not produce a settlement of the dispute, all other forms of dispute resolution are still available.