Why Mediation?

Mediation is a technique for helping people and businesses which are in dispute with each other, resolve their differences and agree a settlement.

Most cases which are mediated do settle. The benefits of mediation are widely recognised and accepted.

In almost every case which comes before the courts, judges expect the parties to attempt to settle their dispute through mediation, and they will impose cost penalties upon parties who do not.

Mediation vs Ligation

Litigation / arbitration

Cheap and quick way of resolving disputes

Very expensive and can take years to take a case to trial

Flexible, allowing the parties to agree whatever they want (e.g. agree a new deal)

Remedies tribunals can impose are limited (pay money or stop doing something)

Consensual; a settlement cannot be imposed

Litigants are never sure which way a judgement will go and must comply with whatever order is made

Rebuilds relationships for the future

Adversarial (at least in the UK and US), creating discord/conflict, souring relationships for good

Private and confidential, and the parties decide what they want to disclose

Litigation usually not private and confidential. Judge/arbitrator decides what is to be disclosed

What does a mediation entail?

Mediations can be arranged quickly. Typically the core of the mediation is a meeting (usually lasting one day) attended by the parties to a dispute, their advisers and a mediator. It is the job of the mediator to chair, manage and moderate the meeting, with the objective of helping the parties find a way of settling their dispute.

Most cases settle.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic most mediation meetings were conducted face to face, but now many are conducted successfully using virtual meeting tools such as Zoom or Teams.