What is mediation?


Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in which an independent mediator helps the parties reach a mutually-acceptable settlement.  The specially designed process features a structure and techniques that work together to uncover settlements when other forms of dispute resolution might fail or result in unsatisfactory outcomes.



Why use mediation?


Put simply, mediation works.  The Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) estimates that mediation succeeds in 89% of cases.  This means both parties have reached a settlement they have agreed to 89% of the time.  In comparison at least 50% of parties to court action will lose.  Even for those that get a decision in their favour, they often fail to achieve the outcome they wanted and may have incurred substantial costs, wasted time and damaged relationships.

Mediation is suitable for most instances of civil, commercial and workplace disputes and its success is due to its built-in advantages.

Cost


Cost

Mediation is much cheaper than court action.  The costs are known and fixed at the outset.

Time


Time

Mediation is usually resolved in one day and at a time agreed by both sides.  Court action can take months and is scheduled by the courts and lawyers.

Confidentiality


Confidentiality

The existence of the mediation and its contents are confidential.  This preserves privacy, commercially sensitive information and full legal rights.

Control - settlement is only reached when both parties agree to it, facilitated by the mediator.


Control

Settlement is only reached when both parties agree to it, facilitated by the mediator.  Neither party can have an outcome imposed upon them.


When to use mediation?


If you need help resolving a dispute or are considering legal action, you should be considering mediation.  Mediation is a way to reach an agreement that avoids the cost, effort, stress and uncertainty of court action.  Most importantly it's entirely voluntary so you remain in control of the settlement as the mediator guides you to a resolution.

Mediation is strongly supported by the UK legal system because it is more accessible, affordable and effective at resolving disputes than court action in most cases.  The Civil Procedure Rules go as far as “encouraging the parties to use an alternative dispute resolution procedure" such as mediation and "facilitating the use of such procedure".

In fact, failure to properly consider mediation or other forms of ADR to resolve conflicts before reaching court can incur financial penalties if the court determines that it would have been suitable: "Both the Claimant and Defendant may be required by the Court to provide evidence that alternative means of resolving their dispute were considered."

We (or your legal representative if you have one) can advise if mediation is suitable for free and without obligation.