Frequently asked questions about mediation
What is mediation?
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process which is confidential, voluntary, non legal and non binding (up to the point of agreement) between two or more parties involved in dispute. In mediation, the parties are assigned a specially trained third party otherwise known as a mediator who facilitates communication between the parties in an effort to understand and educate both sides in order to find a mutually acceptable agreement.
Why should I consider mediation?
Mediation allows parties to discuss with an independent third party "issues" that would not or could not be discussed in court or arbitration proceedings but may have significant relevance to the dispute at hand.
How can mediation help resolve disputes?
Mediation is a flexible process and can help parties to discover interest based outcomes rather than position based which are generally win-win solutions that would normally be mutually beneficial: Mediation can be extremely beneficial when:
How long does it take?
Mediations can normally be dealt with in a day but in some cases it may be appropriate to offer a time limited mediation for a few hours. We would recommend a minimum period of four hours.
When should I go to mediation?
Mediation can be entered into at any time and most parties are referring matters to mediation before they start court proceedings. In general courts rule that mediation should be attempted while litigation should be only used as a last resort when the parties are unable to resolve the matter between them.
Do I need a legal advisor?
It is not necessary as you can represent yourself however most mediators will encourage involvement from your legal counsel if available.
What happens if mediation fails?
While over 90% of cases settle through the process of mediation, there are less than 10% that do not reach agreement through the process. Parties are not compelled to agree an outcome so if there is no agreement then the parties are free to start or continue their case through the courts.
Even in the event that the parties do not agree an outcome, they will more often have a clearer understanding of the issues that divide them. Provided that there is no threat or illegal activity involved, nobody can call the mediator to repeat what was said, not even the court.