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Having recently acted as the mediator in an intense two-day mediation between a social landlord and multiple residents I am reaffirmed in my view that mediation really is Primus Inter Pares (‘First Amongst Equals’) in the fast growing field of alternative dispute resolution.
The sum in dispute was approximately £350k and finding a resolution was important to all concerned. Sadly, litigation is sometimes inevitable, however, if parties can agree to mediate, I am certain it will be in their best interests. This is why Courts now impose formal obligations on parties to try and resolve their disputes before litigating using pre-action protocols.
While you can try to resolve you own issues, using a skilled mediator can make all the difference as they can guide you to a mutually acceptable outcome, while allowing you to retain control of the process in an entirely confidential and safe environment. Mediation is by consent, is on a without prejudice basis and is successful in over 80% of cases.
Parties often start in a joint session and give an opening statement before retiring to private sessions. The mediator will move between the two parties in a form of shuttle diplomacy to understand each party’s case before trying to facilitate a settlement. However, central to the process is the fact that the mediator will not share any information with the other party without express consent of the disclosing party. This means each party can speak candidly to the mediator safe in the knowledge their position is confidential while permitting the mediator to explore options for settlement.
A skilled mediator will ‘hold up a mirror’ to both parties’ so they can secure a deeper appreciation of the relative merits of their case. Although this may be challenging at times, rest assured that both parties are treated equally. After two intensive days, the mediation resulted in an acceptable outcome for all concerned and a dispute which had seemed intractable was resolved. The next day everyone could wake up knowing the black cloud that had hung over them for far too long was now gone.
So, if you are thinking about gearing up for a legal battle, if relations with your opposing party are polarising and costs start to escalate, give mediation serious consideration because it may well be the answer.
With costs being a fraction of what you could spend in litigation plus the fact that it can often be dealt with quickly, mediation makes complete commercial sense. So, as I stated at the outset, in the world of alternative dispute resolution mediation is a remarkable ‘unsung hero’.
For further information on mediation please contact Smart Disputes Limited.
Stuart Lawrence - For and on behalf of Smart Disputes Limited - Nov 2020
Stuart Lawrence – Founder and CEO | Lawyer | Adjudicator | Mediator
For and on Behalf of Smart Disputes Limited
C/o 1 Nursery Green, Loxwood, West Sussex RH14 0EQ
Company Number 12415003
E Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Mob : 07939 257 109
Twitter : @DisputesSmart
For Mediation Services please see www.smartmediation.co.uk