Mediation is a way in which two parties involved in a dispute can explore settlement without the need to go to Court.
The normal litigation process involves several steps before ultimately going to Trial. This process is expensive, time consuming and stressful. A mediator, like Steven Mather, is a trained dispute resolution specialist who acts as a neutral facilitator to allow the parties to reach a settlement which works for them. A mediator will help both parties to consider and appreciate each other’s cases and to help the parties negotiate potentially creative solutions to resolution.
The classic example of the way in which mediation works is the anecdote of the Orange in Fisher & Ury’s “Getting to Yes”. The story goes that two people were arguing over an orange, both claiming they were each entitled to it. The initial suggestion of “settlement” was unattractive to both parties – cut the orange in half. Through effective negotiation (which could well have been mediation) it became apparent that one party wanted the peel and the other the fruit. The creative solution to the problem was therefore to split the orange accordingly. While this is a simplistic view and not all cases are so easy to solve, it demonstrates the point effectively. Going to Court over the orange would give the Judge 2 options: Party A gets the orange or Party B gets the orange. Going to mediation allows both parties, usually for the first time, to realise that they each wanted a different outcome to the same problem.
Mediation is a process which involves both parties (and their legal representatives) attending a Mediation Settlement Conference to discuss the ways in which each party can walk away from the dispute happy (or at least not dissatisfied!). A more detailed guide to how mediation works can be found below.
The Courts are very keen to ensure that all parties attempt to resolve disputes through mediation. The Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) require all parties to consider alternative dispute resolution at all times and it is clear, following case law, that the Courts view mediation as essential to settling disputes outside of Court. Indeed, there are costs consequences imposed on parties for failing to mediate.
Mediation’s biggest selling points are that it is cheaper, quicker, more flexible, confidential and voluntary.
- Josiah Hincks Mediation offer mediations for as little as £350 +vat per party – considerably cheaper than the thousands of pounds it costs to take a case to Trial.
- On average, we settle disputes within 3-4 hours although some mediations may last a whole day. Given the months it takes to get a case to Court, this is an incredible time saving.
- Mediation is considerably more flexible in its approach to settlement options. At Court, it’s the Judge who decides the outcome. At mediation, it’s totally up to the parties (with the help of the mediator and the parties’ legal advisors) to come up with a solution that works for both parties.
- Mediation is totally confidential. Nothing said at the mediation can be repeated outside of the mediation. It is “without prejudice” to the main claim as well, so whatever is disclosed will not be repeated in the Court proceedings – this “frees” up the parties to say whatever they want without fear of reprisal. Furthermore, the mediator will have private sessions with each party and the content of those sessions are confidential between the party and the mediator unless it is agreed to disclose such information to the other party.
- Mediation is voluntary and at any time either party can leave.
Josiah Hincks Mediation offers low cost, effective mediations for all types of commercial and civil legal disputes. Our specialist mediator in Leicester can help you, or your clients, to mediate disputes. Contact Steven Mather on 0116 255 1811 now.