Mediation vs County Court

12 June 2019: This re-post if from my good friend and colleague Anna Barry at Should we be thinking of mediation as a first step in dispute resolution, rather than the second to last resort?: 

The Ministry of Justice published their quarterly statistics on June 6 and they will make interesting reading for people considering going to the Civil Justice System to resolve disputes.  They are also music to mediators’ ears, as the case for mediation over litigation is really self-evident for 90% of disagreements.

In the first quarter of 2019 there were over 500,000 new claims, a slight increase on the previous quarter.  The waiting time for matters to come to court is increasing, now almost 40 weeks for a non-contested small claim and over a year for more complex cases.  In the same period there were 75,000 disputed claims but only 16,000 actually went to trial between January and March 2019. 


So what does this mean for you if you are engaged in a dispute and are thinking about going through the Civil Justice System to resolve it?   Firstly you will have a length and potentially stressful wait before your matter comes up.  Secondly you will be faced with a bewildering array of court fees and enforcement fees (a 21 page document), not to mention solicitors’ and barristers’ fees if the matter is contested. 

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), including mediation, is worth some serious consideration.  Arguably 90% of cases can be settled quickly and cost-effectively through mediation.


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