Mediation & Dispute Resolution
Mediation is now a very important stage in the litigation process, and is a conflict resolution process that usually results in a prompt settlement to even the most complex and highly charged disputes. Chris has mediated some very challenging cases, where the parties even refused to sit in the same room at the start, yet his personal settlement rate is running at about 80%.
Hear what Chris has to say about Mediation!
If you are looking for a specialist mediator who has dealt with many disputes, including:
- Business purchase and sale,
- Contractual failings,
- Professional negligence,
- Rights of way,
- Housing disrepair,
- Expensive motor assets and many other disputes.
…then for these and many more, Chris can help you! For examples of his mediation cases, go to the tab Case Studies.
Mediation is the most popular form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”). It can take place only if all parties to the dispute agree. A specially trained professional, a mediator, guides the parties through the process with the aim of reaching a solution, which the parties can live with.
A professional mediator does not make any judgments, does not give any advice, and never takes sides. He will never express his views on whether the solution achieved is the right one, because if it’s acceptable to the parties, it is the right one.
The skilled mediator gently helps the parties move towards dispute resolution away from concentrating on their rights and liabilities, and towards considering their needs and interests. Rather than raking over old coals, the mediator helps the parties to look to the future.
Characteristics of Mediation
It is Consensual:
The mediator does not impose any settlement; the parties decide when an agreement can be reached, and decide the nature of that agreement.
It is Private and Confidential:
Nothing said at a mediation can be quoted later, not even in court should the mediation fail. Thus the parties are encouraged to state their true needs in private discussion with the mediator, who can subtly use that knowledge to seek common ground with the other party.
It Has a Clear Focus:
Mediation focuses not on rights and liabilities, but on needs and interests. Awareness of rights leads to entrenched positions, which can be resolved only by the unsatisfactory process of a full trial at court. Whereas looking at needs and interests means getting away from past difficulties and concentrating on what the parties really need for the future.
Advantages of Mediation
Mediation can be held at any time acceptable to the parties, and is not dependent on court listings.
It can be held anywhere acceptable to the parties, so long as two or three rooms are available for confidential discussions. Chris has even mediated a boundary dispute over the bonnet of a Range Rover!
A mediation may be arranged within a couple of weeks, or even a couple of hours if necessary; and it can usually take place before the parties spend months in preparing their case for trial or waiting for a court date.
All discussions are confidential and without prejudice.
The Parties Are in Control
It’s your dispute, and you are in charge of it; at any time you may abort the process and go to court. But Chris very much hopes you won’t.
Less Disruptive to Relationships
After a court case, the parties may never speak again, and never do business together. With mediation, doing business together may even be part of the solution the parties reach, and mediation often rebuilds relationships, whereas litigation destroys them.
Mediation is usually far cheaper than a trial.
Lawyers Not Essential
Though often invaluable; a party can represent himself, with or without a friend or colleague. Lawyers are not required for mediation.
David & Goliath Meet as Equals
There is usually just one representative on each side in mediation, plus their advisers; but since heavy costs are not incurred, Goliath (the large commercial enterprise or public authority) cannot use his financial muscle to bully David (little Joe Public). Both parties must work equally to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.
Mediation works because it helps the parties to resolve even the most complex disputes in a practical way. It addresses their interests and needs, without the risks and costs of court proceedings. The parties achieve their own solution, without an imposed decision.
On the pages below, Chris Makin describes how a mediation is arranged, what happens on the day, how much it costs, and what else you need to know to achieve a solution to your or your client’s problems.
Get In Touch to discuss how Chris can help.