Frequently Asked Questions
No – there is nothing to lose by offering to mediate even if you believe you have a strong case. Few lawyers would advise their clients that they are guaranteed to win a Court case.
YES – I have professional indemnity insurance for me and my client’s protection. It covers legal liability cover, fee recovery, document loss, libel and slander, breach of confidentiality and breach of copyright.
Mediation helps with a wide range of disputes including: Commercial Mediation concerns businesses or individuals in conflict over such areas as Contracts of Sale, Property, Patents and Trade-marks, Personal Injury and Negligence. Workplace Mediation addresses Disagreements about Employment Contracts, Working Styles, Roles, Responsibilities, Pay and Allegations of Discrimination or Harassment. Family Mediation helps couples at any stage of separation or Divorce to deal with such issues as the care of Children, Property and Financial Matters. Mediation can also apply to disputes involving other Family Relationships. Community or Neighbourhood Mediation can help solve conflict between neighbours such as Noise, Nuisance, Harassment or Boundary Disputes or issues with local councils, schools and health authorities, Housing. As well as… Business disputes Small Debt Claims Disputes over goods and services such as Electrical Appliances, Holidays, Phone, Internet Home Improvements, Family Grievances, etc
Confidential Unbiased Voluntary Quicker than the courts, some cases can take years before a hearing Puts the parties in control Less Stressful, less Anxiety Considerably cheaper than going to court No Solicitors costs Quick and creative settlements that would not be available from the courts Less formal than a trial by a judge Directly involved in negotiating your own agreement No settlement can be imposed upon you unlike a judge The session is conducted in private Possibility to explore alternative solutions that may not have been considered It may be possible to re-establish a better relationship between the parties for the future A concluded case thru the legal channels can become the subject of an appeal that will increase costs and prolong the anguish and uncertainty that accompanies litigation A mediation agreement offers a full and final settlement that is acceptable to the parties Unlike court proceedings, mediation can be arranged within a few days.
Each mediator will have his or her own approach. I vary the process as I take the parties feelings into consideration prior to starting the process…The mediation usually takes the following format. I will arrange a meeting at a mutually agreed neutral location When the parties are all present I will explain in greater detail how the process works and will endeavour to put both parties at ease. I will ask each party to describe the dispute as they see it. After both parties have spoken I may then decide to separate the parties where I will shuttle back and forth between the parties and bring them together when I feel a solution/agreement is close. When we finally meet together in the joint session I will seek to obtain an agreement by all parties. Once the solution has been agreed I will put the terms in writing and the agreement will then need to be signed by both parties.
REMEMBER ANYTHING SAID TO THE MEDIATOR IS STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL AND CANNOT BE DISCLOSED TO THE OTHER PARTY.
Yes – if you wish. You may feel that your dispute is rather complex and that you would prefer legal advice throughout the mediation, bearing in mind that the mediator cannot give any legal advice to the parties. In addition to the mediation fee, you are responsible for paying your own legal costs. Please note though that a number of parties choose not to bring legal representation to the mediation and still manage to resolve most if not all of their dispute on the day.
No – the mediator will conduct all discussions via telephone prior to the mediation. The first time parties meet the Mediator will be on the day of the Mediation.
92% of all mediations are successful but should the mediation not have the desired results both parties can go back to court. All discussions during the mediation meeting are “Without Prejudice” meaning anything said in the mediation cannot be used later in court or in another legal action. There is no obligation to agree to anything you are not happy with and you have not sacrificed any of your rights.
If you want to use mediation and the other side refuses you should inform the courts as judges are now using Mediators to speed up the process.
HER MAJESTYS COURTS SERVICE AND THE CIVIL MEDIATION COUNCIL RECOGNISE MEDIATION AND ARE WORKING TOGETHER TO PROMOTE MEDIATION. COURTS MAY IMPOSE COST PENALTIES IF THE PARTIES CANNOT DEMONSTRATE THAT THEY HAVE SERIOUSLY CONSIDERED MEDIATION
The truth is that there are some mediators who have not qualified and pass themselves off as mediators. I have studied with TCM and ADR. The Academy of Experts is a professional body and has members throughout the world. The academy is now a leading proponent of the development of Alternative Dispute Resolution in the UK working with the civil mediation council of which it’s a member. The academy is also a training and accreditation body for ADR Neutrals, including Mediators, Conciliators and Expert Determiners. It publishes and maintains the Register of Qualified Dispute Resolvers and awards those Mediators who has undergone vigorous and lengthy training the designatory letters QDR to those on the register. All the mediators on the Academy of Experts Register are qualified experts in various subjects. In addition, I have undergone a training programme which includes both instruction in the various techniques that I will need to help both sides to negotiate their own agreement and an assessment in which i have to be successful before qualifying for the inclusion in the register.
Once I have spoken to one party I will try to endeavour to persuade the other party to agree to mediation by drawing attention to the advantages of trying to reach a settlement by mediation
Points To Remember
The mediator makes no decisions…both parties are responsible for their result.
Courts are taking a tougher stance where costs awards are concerned and it is rare for the successful party to recover all of its costs.
YOUR legal rights will not be affected if for any reason the mediation does not resolve your dispute
A mediator’s agreement becomes binding on the parties and can be enforceable in law.