What is Mediation?
Mediation is an entirely voluntary process. Through the mediation process, the participants work with a jointly instructed, entirely neutral third party, with the aim of resolving their dispute together. The Mediator is that third party.
What does the Mediator do?
Your Mediator works with you within an informal and entirely confidential environment to explore the dispute, gather information and help the parties move past impasse to settlement. The Mediator helps the parties bridge gaps and resolve themselves. A Mediator does not pass judgment or otherwise seek to impose their own resolution on the parties.
If a resolution is achieved, the Mediator will work with the Parties to put the terms of the binding agreement into a written document.
What are the benefits of mediation?
One of the principal benefits of mediation is the flexibility of the process. Unlike formal Court procedures, the format of mediations are infinitely variable and can be tailored to suit the specific requirements of any dispute. Further, and unlike formal court proceedings, the Parties' involvement in mediation is entirely voluntary, and the parties retain control of the process throughout.
The process is also entirely confidential, both in discussions between the Mediator and the individual Parties and between each side of the dispute. Such confidentiality allows both the Mediator and the Parties to openly explore the dispute, secure in the knowledge that if a resolution is not reached, no party's position is affected at trial.
The flexibility of mediation also means that greater creativity and flexibility can be applied in getting to a resolution. The more informal nature of mediations also helps diffuse tensions and offers greater prospects of retaining pre-existing relationships over the deliberately adversarial nature of Court proceedings. Mediation can be arranged quickly, without the need to wait for a contested hearing to be accommodated by the Court.
But what if I end up in Court anyway?
As settlement belongs to the Parties and not the Mediator, resolution cannot be guaranteed, and so the matter might still end up in from of the Court. However, before getting to trial, the Court will have expected the Parties to have attempted to resolve their dispute. That expectation, and where resolving the dispute without trial offers considerable savings in time and costs, means that Parties have potentially much to gain and little to lose by attempting to mediate their dispute.