Mediation is not just a different road to get to the same place. It is a different road to get to a much better place.
An Overview of Mediation - key points
- The mediator does not impose a decision, nor make any kind of judgment - unlike court or arbitration, the mediator helps the parties to find their own, acceptable, solution.
- The outcome of mediation is always within the control of the parties - with the help of the mediator they decide for themselves upon a settlement they can live with.
- Mediation is a guided negotiation, helping the parties to communicate with each other, exploring the issues which are of real importance to them, which often differ from their 'rights'. The parties are encouraged to find ways to address their present and future needs, rather than dwelling upon who may have been right or wrong in the past.
- Parties in mediation avoid the uncertainty and dissatisfaction often experienced in court or at arbitration where they have little choice but to accept the judgment made, which none of them may be happy with.
- Mediation resolves disputes fast, usually within a day.
- Mediation is significantly less expensive than litigation - because months or years of litigation are avoided, as are the consequent fees of lawyers and experts. Parties may of course have legal or other advisors present during the mediation if they wish.
- Within the mediation itself the Mediator will keep confidential any information given by one party unless express permission is granted for some or all of that information to be disclosed to another party.
- Everything said at the mediation is entirely confidential to the parties (unless specifically agreed otherwise) - unlike the potential publicity of court proceedings.
- The mediation process is 'without prejudice', so that on the rare occasion that a settlement is not reached litigation may continue without the parties needing to worry about having 'given away' anything that the other could use in court.
- Mediation works in some 90% of commercial disputes - a settlement is usually reached on the day, or within a few days of the mediation meeting.
- Mediation is voluntary; any party may withdraw at any time.
- Nothing is binding upon any party until an agreed settlement is reached. Once a settlement has been drawn up and signed it becomes an enforceable contract between the parties.