Mediation is a quick, non-confrontational and cost-effective alternative way to resolve a dispute. Disputes are stressful and time consuming, and can ruin lives and businesses. Most disputes can be settled through mediation, including civil disputes, property issues, business partnership, workplace and intra-team conflict, and issues between landlords and tenants. SCL-Mediation adheres to the EU Code of Conduct for Mediators.
The mediator will facilitate discussions between the parties to the dispute to help them find a solution that works for all concerned.
Most mediations are successful, with around 85% reaching a settlement on the day or shortly afterward.
Costs are tailored according to the time allocated and the value or complexity of the dispute. Usually the costs, which can include travel, accommodation and meeting rooms, are divided equally between the participants.
Most mediations can be completed in a single day, or even a few hours, but occasionally they can be longer if more complex in nature
How it works
The mediation process is non-confrontational and completely confidential. The mediator will try to create a conducive atmosphere in which a settlement can be reached. To encourage openness the process is conducted on a ‘without prejudice’ basis, which means in effect that nothing said or offered within the process can be used as evidence or an admission should the matter come to court.
Before the process starts all participants must agree to it and sign an agreement to mediate that clearly sets out the terms under which the mediation will be conducted.
A mediator is a trained and accredited professional who is skilled at facilitation. The mediator will not offer legal advice, personal opinions or propose a solution.
Participants will be invited to make opening statements to the mediator before structured discussions commence. Discussions can be open will all participants present, or in private between the mediator and one participant at a time. Nothing said in private can be disclosed to other participants without the express permission of the participant who said it.
As and when a settlement is agreed the participants or their legal representatives will make a record of it and sign it, and this record becomes an enforceable contract
Mediation is becoming the preferred option for resolving civil disputes. The UK’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) are now offering free mediation to settle matters that would otherwise end up in the Small Claims Courts. (For details see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/small-claims-mediation-service-ex730)
The courts are also referring more cases to mediation before they will allocate court time, saving the parties time and money as well as conserving scarce court resources.
While mediation is an excellent and non-confrontational way to resolve civil and commercial disputes without an adversarial court case, it is also a great way to prevent matters getting that far, and for dealing with issues that are not purely financial. Such matters could include workplace disputes, boundary and property issues, inheritance grievances, and many more.