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Mediation - Resolution of disputes without proper litigation

13/04/18

Mediation enables parties to benefit from the skills of a qualified mediator, who will listen and observe the parties without bias and will help each side see their own position more clearly, enabling them to think through consequences that they have previously not been considered.

Mediations are on the increase. In 2016, 10,000 commercial mediations were performed, an increase of 5% on 2014. The mediation industry saves businesses approximately £2.8 billion a year in management time, relationships, productivity and legal fees. These were the results of a study undertaken by CEDR in 2016. The same study found that the overall success rate for mediations is approximately 86%.

The mediation process is entirely focused on achieving a positive commercial resolution for the parties, with the parties being ultimately in control of the settlement. Whilst many cases go to mediation from a position of deadlock – either before or during the course of the litigation, the vast majority of cases will settle on the day or shortly afterwards. The parties have control over the ultimate outcome of their case, rather than leaving it to a Judge who will consider the case on the basis of the papers and evidence before them on the day of a trial. Mediation should be considered by all parties to a dispute as being a sensible step to take. Some might consider that it is simply another layer of cost, which cannot guarantee a resolution, however parties considering mediation, should be encouraged to look beyond the costs.

There is certainly a benefit of mediation, from the perspective of a case progressing at Court. The parties must be able to demonstrate the fact that they have to considered mediation and indeed undertaken mediation. If they cannot provide a good reason as to why this has not been the case, then it could be detrimental to them from a costs perspective when a Judge considers the conduct of the parties at the conclusion of a case.

Mediation is a forum where background factors such as personal issues or obstacles, in addition to the facts of the case and legal position can be explored. Mediation provides a safe and confidential environment to enable the parties to consider their positions and to reach settlement.

In the event that you require a mediator to assist with resolving a dispute that you currently have and whether party to Court proceedings or where proceedings have not yet been issued, please do not hesitate to contact Fiona Colwell of PR Mediation in order to discuss further.

If you need further advice please contact Fiona Colwell or Ana James-Pittau.