Mediation is a forum for resolving disputes which is an alternative to Court or other forms of proceedings.
It is a process which can be used at any stage of a dispute, whether at the outset or during the course of proceedings, and involves the appointment of a mediator to assist the parties in resolving their differences.
There are many benefits to mediation including the following:
A successful mediation can have a huge saving on the management or personal time involved in continuing the dispute as well as saving the further legal costs of litigating the dispute.
It enables the parties to discuss the dispute and air their grievances on a confidential, and without prejudice, basis in a forum which they can control, without fear of anything they say being used against them.
The process itself is flexible and can be tailored to suit the needs of the parties.
Whilst the aim is to reach an amicable solution, the parties cannot be forced into an agreement and the process itself is voluntary so that the parties are free to leave the mediation at any time.
The settlement reached can be tailored to the requirements of the parties and may be one which a Court or Tribunal could not order if the dispute were litigated but will still be legally binding.
A mediated solution can help preserve ongoing commercial relationships, avoiding a “winner” and “loser” result which may happen at trial.
If the mediation is unsuccessful for any reason it will not prejudice the ability to take the case to trial and will have the advantage of proceeding with a better understanding of the opponent’s case.
Either party in a dispute can propose mediation, and many contracts now contain a requirement to mediate as part of the escalation of a dispute.
We have put together an article in relation to litigation tactics in mediation which you may find useful. For more information please click here.
We also have a factsheet here that may be of interest to you.