Q: What is mediation?
A: Mediation is a process in which a qualified, neutral and independent person helps parties in a dispute to negotiate a mutually acceptable solution to their problem. It is a voluntary and confidential process that aims to resolve the conflict in a way that is acceptable to all parties.
Q: What types of disputes can be mediated?
A: Mediation can be used to resolve a wide range of disputes in a variety of settings and circumstances. Mediation is useful in specific complaints about other people’s behaviours but mediators are unable to address differences in feelings or attitudes. The parties must both be willing to negotiate and must have the authority to settle without deferring to others for permission.
Our experienced mediators have a wealth of knowledge and can work with parties to find a solution that meets their unique needs.
Q: How does mediation work?
A: Mediation typically begins with an initial consultation during which the mediator explains the process and the parties have the opportunity to ask questions. If both parties agree to mediation, the mediator will work with them separately to listen to their perspectives and help identify their issues and needs. The mediator then facilitates discussions between the parties (this can be directly or indirectly) to help them to find and agree on a mutually beneficial way forward.
Q: What are the benefits of mediation?
A: Mediation offers many benefits over the alternatives such as legal (in the case of civil and contract disputes) or grievance (in the case of workplace disputes) processes.
It is cheaper and faster than the alternatives and often provides an opportunity to maintain or repair relationships. It is totally confidential ensuring that reputations are undamaged through gossip or reports on social media or in the newspapers. The parties both have total control over the outcome and unlike in court or grievance processes, there is no adjudication or arbitration because a settlement is only secured with the agreement of both parties.
Q: Is mediation legally binding?
A: The agreement reached through mediation is not legally binding unless it is formalised in a legally binding contract. In some mediations, a “gentleman’s agreement” is sufficient. When mediation is used as an alternative to court action, a legally binding agreement may be arranged. Such agreements only become binding once it has been signed by all parties.
Q: How long does mediation take?
A: The length of mediation depends on the complexity of the dispute. Our aim is to resolve all disputes within a single day and sometimes, in simple cases, we will agree to a session as short as one hour on the telephone.
Q: How quickly can I get mediation?
A: This depends on how quickly the parties want to resolve their dispute. We can usually arrange to hold the mediation meetings within a week.
Q: Would I be better with a solicitor to do the mediation?
A: Some solicitors do undertake mediation but your own solicitor could not do this for you as they would not be impartial. You would still have to explain your circumstances to a new person. The advantage of using us is that we are not distracted or limited by the legal framework. This leaves us free to help you focus on a solution that solves your actual issues (rather than just the legal issues) and on the people aspects of your case, thereby, giving you the best chance of repairing damaged relationships and finding a mutually agreeable solution.
Q: How much does mediation cost?
A: The cost of mediation varies depending on the complexity of the dispute and the length of the session required. Our rates are very competitive Our standard rates are published here. We also take part in the CMC Fixed Rate Scheme and details can be found here. We can provide a detailed estimate for your dispute once we have more information about your specific case.
Q: What’s the first step to arranging a mediation?
A: Once you and the person you are in dispute with have both agreed to resolve your issue using mediation, contact us here. We will come back to you within 48 hours with a price and a copy of our mediation agreement which you will both be asked to sign. We will then usually arrange a date within a few days. and a proposed date for the mediation. Our Sample Mediation Agreement is available on our Downloads page.
If you have any further questions or would like to learn more about our mediation services, please do not hesitate to contact us.