Using Mediation to Resolve Disputes
Mediation can help to resolve disputes about money, property, goods, services and other different matters; usually financial and contractual matters that could otherwise end up in court.
It is a quick, cost effective and a less formal method of resolving your dispute saving you from the pressures and costs of court proceedings.
The process is straightforward, where you and the other side are brought together with a commitment to try and work out a solution. Mediations can be organised in a series of joint or separate negotiation sessions where parties discuss and agree how to bring the dispute to an end.
The recent mediation audit undertaken by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) received responses from 336 mediators. It found that the overall success rate of mediation remained very high, with an aggregate settlement rate of 89%, up from 86% in 2016.
One of the aims of the survey was to assess how the attitudes towards mediation have changed between 2016 – 2018. The 2018 Eighth CEDR Mediation Audit report shows that approximately 12,000 mediations take place each year in England and Wales.
Mediation success rates were mentioned in the report; it showed the proportion of cases that settle on the day of mediation has increased to 74% (from 67% in 2016), but the proportion of cases which settle shortly after mediation has fallen to 15% (from 19% in 2016).
The report also makes the following comments:-
- Civil & commercial mediation was effectively launched in the UK in 1990, the total value of mediated cases is now almost £110bn (up from £85bn in 2016).
- By resolving disputes more quickly using mediation rather than going to court it can save wasted management time, damaged relationships, lost productivity, and legal fees.
- Since 1990 mediation has brought about savings of £28.5bn (up from £22.6bn in 2016).
Mediators participating in the audit were asked to describe the piece of advice that they most frequently wished to give the parties about how to improve their own performance in the mediation process and get the best out of it. The tips are:
- Not only by thinking about your needs and expectations but also doing the same thing thinking about your opponents.
- Being in the right does not bring anybody closer to a mutually beneficial position.
- Reflect on the offer you are making to the other party – if this offer was put to you how would you feel? Is the offer realistic?
- Come to the mediation with a realistic range of acceptable outcomes, based on needs rather than just repeating a point that has already been stated in correspondence, pleadings and the position statement.
Mediation provides an opportunity for parties to consider alternative ways of resolving their disputes because it is likely to be quicker and more cost-effective.
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Employment & Litigation Paralegal