Mediation is the process of helping parties in a disagreement to hear one another, to minimise the harm that can come from disagreement (e.g. hostility or ‘demonising’ of the other parties) to maximize any area of agreement and to find a way of preventing the areas of disagreement from interfering with the process of seeking a compromise or mutually agreed outcome.
The process is managed by a mediator who will seek to establish the parties’ issues and needs and negotiate a settlement that both parties can accept without progressing to more adversarial and expensive means of settling a dispute.
Mediation settlements can often be more flexible than simply an award of money, which means it can be better than litigation or arbitration in several circumstances as Mediation can help maintain the future commercial relationships.
With accreditation, subject to both parties agreement, we would be happy to organise and run a mediation to see if agreement can be reached before the parties embark on more costly dispute resolution procedures.
Section 14 of the Act imposes a legal obligation on a “practising solicitor” to advise their clients, before issuing proceedings, to consider mediation as a means of dispute resolution. The possible implications of not proceeding to mediation without good reason may lead the court to impose possible cost sanctions on “any unreasonable refusal or failure by the party” to consider or attend mediation.