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Introduction to Mediation
Mediation is an option in the resolution of disputes. Until relatively recently many disputes (outside of commercial contracts where an Arbitrator may be used) would be resolved through litigation. Parties would present their cases and a judgment would be given based on the application of the law to the evidence.
Increasingly however, mediation is being offered as alternative within the litigation process. This is being reinforced by the Court’s Civil Procedure Rules, which require the parties in a dispute to be aware that mediation is available as an option. If parties choose to mediate then a mediator is selected.
Trained Mediators come from all walks of life, including the legal profession. However, a mediator always remains entirely impartial throughout the process. They represent no side and their fees are the responsibility of both parties. Although in practice (particularly in personal injury claims cases) the defending party’s insurance may pay all fees so mediation can prove extremely cost-effective.
It is important to remember that mediation is not just a cost saving exercise. There is often genuine emotional and psychological trauma in many cases that monetary compensation alone cannot solve. The mediator is there to allow the parties to personally present their case and requests to the mediator without judgement. The process is confidential and all notes prepared by the mediator (except for agreed outcomes) are destroyed at the end of mediation.
How does it work?
Once mediation is agreed by the parties, an appropriate venue, date and time is set. The process is informal but remains focused on the search for a solution acceptable to all parties. If mediation does not reach a satisfactory outcome then court proceedings remains an option.
During the mediation session parties may spend time together in a larger meeting room or in separate rooms, whilst reflecting on offers being made or considering their position. It is common for each party to bring their legal counsel. The mediator will engage in a ‘shuttle diplomacy’ making each party aware of the others position when given permission by each party to do so. Offers and responses to offers will be communicated to the other party by the mediator only with the express permission of the parties. The mediator will not pass judgment and is not there to impose a solution – their role is to facilitate an agreement between the parties.
Mediation sessions are usually timetabled to last no more than five hours. The mediator can suggest a further session if agreement is not reached, but it is unusual.
Croftons Mediation is based in Manchester and we suggest the use of the facilities at 64 Bridge Street for mediation sessions. The guide to those facilities provided by the Clerksroom also includes information on fees, which range from £500.00 +VAT for a junior mediator through to £1,500 +VAT for an elite mediator. Precise fees can vary.
For an in-depth guide to mediation we suggest the Clerksroom Guide to Mediation.
Please use the contact form or telephone 0161 214 6180 if you would like to contact Croftons directly about our mediation services.
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