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Mediation - What You Need to Know FAQ


With the recent news that Director Alison Stace has qualified as an Accredited Mediator, we thought it would be beneficial to answer some FAQ's surrounding Mediation. We hope it helps!

What is the role of a Mediator?

The most common style of mediation is facilitative mediation in which, unlike a Judge or Arbitrator, the mediator will not decide the case on its merits, but will work to facilitate agreement between the parties. Studies show that parties entering into voluntary agreements through mediation are far more likely to adhere to and fulfill commitments made in such agreements than those imposed upon them by the Judiciary.

How does it work in practice?

Mediation provides a private forum in which the parties can gain a better understanding of each others positions and work together to explore options for resolution. During the process the Mediator meets privately with each party to discuss the problem confidentially. This allows each party to be frank with the Mediator and have a realistic look at their case in private. The mediation process allows more creativity and flexibility over settlement options than the Court or arbitration process.

Is the Mediation process only available for high value cases?

Mediation can be used in almost any kind of case from small claims matters to complex high value disputes and appeals.

Will I be allowed a private room during Mediation?

Yes, a Mediator will greet the parties on arrival at the mediation session and show each party to its own private room. With consent of both parties, the Mediator will formally open the mediation with a joint session and after the opening, the Mediator will have private discussions with each party to assist in the negotiating process.

Will the matter settle that day?

This very much depends upon the parties but ultimately mediation works very well and may result in the parties reaching settlement that is either documented at the mediation or shortly thereafter. Alternatively, the parties may use the discussions at the mediation as a springboard for further settlement talks after the mediation.

Does Mediation work every time?

Mediation does not always work in reaching a settlement but does generally have a high success rate. Mediators who responded to the 5th audit carried out by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) in May 2012 reported that just over 70% of their cases settled on the day, with another 20% settling shortly thereafter.

If I have issued proceedings is it too late to Mediate?

Mediation can take place at any stage from before issuing Court or Arbitration proceedings through to appeal. We would always recommend mediation takes place, if possible, before proceedings but always, as a general guide if the issues are properly defined and there has been a proper exchange of information and documents relating to both the dispute and quantum.

If a settlement is not reached, have I wasted my time Mediating?

Where mediation is not successful in resolving a dispute, it may at least help to narrow or clarify the issues. In addition, there may be more than one attempt at mediation in the life of a dispute.

What are the main benefits of Mediation?

i. Better communication between the parties with the Mediator facilitating a neutral third party role;
ii. Business relationships can be preserved or enhanced by mediation;
iii. Confidentiality and privilege are cornerstones of the mediation process;
iv. The parties have complete choice over the selection of the Mediator and can therefore choose the Mediator who is more appropriate for the dispute;
v. The legal costs, lost opportunity costs and loss in management time can be reduced through mediation;
vi. Mediation can produce outcomes that might not be possible via determination by the Court or Arbitration as the clients have active participation in the mediation process and control the outcome.
vii. Mediation can provide a speedier resolution. It can be arranged quickly, often within a few days or weeks.
viii Mediation is low risk. There is “nothing to lose” by attempting mediation.

Steps to Mediation;

Step 1 Getting to Mediation.

Step 2 Selecting a Mediator.

Step 3 Pre-mediation planning.

Step 4 Documents.

Step 5 Mediation session.

Step 6 Mediation outcome.

To discuss the use of Mediation in your case, contact Alison Stace on 01978 291000 or email alisonstace@allingtonhughes.co.uk

Alison Stace
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The professional rules relating to solicitors' firms, including the Code of Conduct can be accessed on the website of the Solicitors Regulation Authority at www.sra.org.uk

Allington Hughes Law is a trading name of Allington Hughes Limited. Registered office is 10 Grosvenor Road, Wrexham LL11 1SD

Registered in England and Wales. Company registration number 07831162.

Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority number 597867

V.A.T. registration number 166 8213 93