Civil and Commercial Mediation is a way of bringing a claim to a conclusion without having to go to court. It is confidential and often is a good solution where either negotiations have broken down or have struggled to get off the ground.
Robert Festenstein, Adam Cohen and Jordan Wilford are trained mediators and would be happy to discuss how we can assist in mediating your dispute depending on its nature and value.
How it works
The parties agree on a mediator. This will be someone who is not connected with the dispute. The fee is split equally between both sides and paid in advance. A confidentiality agreement has to be signed in advance so that everything said during the mediation process cannot be referred to in court. The reason for this is to allow a free flow of dialogue between the parties and the mediator.
The amount of time set aside for the mediation varies. It can be for half a day (9.30 am – 1pm), a full day (9.30am – 4.30pm) or longer. Usually, a full day is needed for more complicated cases and more straightforward disputes can often be resolved in half a day.
The mediation can start with a joint session with everyone around the table setting out what they hope to achieve. This though has become less popular over time since very often the parties are too far apart and meeting face to face can just generate animosity. The two sides have a room each and the mediator has their own room as well. The mediator meets with one side and then the other with a view to understanding their respective positions. This is sometimes known as shuttle mediation.
The mediator takes information when authorised by one side to give to the other with the aim of bringing them closer together. The mediator will also take offers from one side to the other as part of that process. If a settlement is agreed, then this is recorded in writing and signed by everyone at which point it becomes a binding agreement.
This can be anywhere from a solicitors office where there are plenty of meeting rooms or just a suite of rooms hired for the day. More recently mediations have been held remotely, with the mediator moving from one screen (virtual room) to the other.
Points to bear in mind
- Mediation is wholly confidential and any information or document disclosed cannot be referred to later unless the party who holds that information or document wishes to do so.
- There can be no imposition of a settlement. Both parties have to agree and if they don’t then the mediator has no power to force them to agree.
- Sometimes the mediation runs over time. A day is usually 9.30 – 4.30 and the parties agree to pay for additional time on an hourly basis.
- Mediation is not a court process. It can take place before any court proceedings start, during them or even after they have finished. If an agreement is reached during a court process then this is usually sent to the court as part of the process of bringing the court claim to an end.
For more information on the mediation services we provide please contact AdamC@RHFSolicitors.co.uk or call 0161-886-5820.