Frequently Asked Questions
01 What is Mediation?
Mediation is a means of resolving disputes between two or more parties. If a settlement is not reached in mediation the parties are still free to go to court. If a case is already in the process of litigation, courts will often allow a stay (a break) in order for mediation to take place. Up to 80% of mediations of commercial disputes reach resolution.
02 Why try mediation?
Mediation is confidential and highly effective, with parties remaining in control of the outcome. Results can be quickly achieved and mediation can be flexibly tailored to suit people and organisations, taking commercial and personal needs into account.
03 Why not just negotiate?
Negotiation alone may be unbalanced if one party dominates, expectations are unrealistic or there is a breakdown in trust. Having a skilled mediator in place means they can ask questions or raise points that the other party might not want to, ensuring a satisfactory move forward for all concerned.
Please contact us for more information.
04 What are the outcomes of mediation?
Outcomes can include agreement to:
Stop a particular course of action
Adopt a certain course of action in future
Give an apology
Replace goods or services
05 How quickly can mediation be arranged?
Ideally we recommend allowing adequate preparation time for mediation – usually 2-3 weeks between an initial enquiry and the mediation taking place.
06 What is the case is already in litigation?
The courts encourage mediation and will often grant a delay of the court hearing to allow mediation to take place.
07 Is proposing mediation considered a sign of weakness?
Not at all. Mediation indicates that you are confident in discussing your dispute and seeking a highly cost effective and timely resolution.
08 Does mediation involve more expense?
Mediation is invariably cheaper than court proceedings. The fees paid to a mediator (and lawyer if you choose to use one to prepare for/attend your mediation) are usually quite low in proportion to the amounts in dispute.
Mediation can often be arranged with only a few days’ notice and offers a speedy, flexible and cost effective means of resolving disputes.
09 Do I have to have a lawyer at mediation?
It is not necessary for you to have a lawyer to represent you at mediation, although in higher value, more complex cases a lawyer is often present or can be consulted on telephone while you are in mediation.
10 Who should attend the mediation?
It is important that whoever attends the mediation understands the matter in dispute clearly and has the authority to settle matters, for example, a lawyer, a chartered surveyor or an accountant.
You can discuss with a mediator who you intend inviting before the mediation takes place.
11 Where does mediation take place?
Ideally mediation takes place at a mutually convenient venue with three rooms available – one for Party A, one for Party B and a joint meeting room.
12 Who are the mediators?
All our Solent Mediation Group mediators are accredited and registered with a principle national mediation body and have undergone formal training including continuous professional development.
All our mediators carry professional indemnity insurance and are subject to Codes of Conduct.
13 Who chooses the mediator?
Usually this is subject to mutual agreement. However if the parties cannot agree on a mediator, Solent Mediation Group will appoint a suitable mediator if mandated to do so.
14 Why do I need a trained mediator?
Trained mediators are highly experienced and are able to structure a process to facilitate dialogue and exchange of information. They will test and discuss options, moving matters forward in a balanced professional manner.
Our mediators adhere to strict codes of conduct guaranteeing their neutrality and confidentiality.
15 Are there disputes/cases that shouldn’t be mediated?
Yes. There is no need to mediate if you and the other parties concerned are able to resolve your problems through dialogue.
If you require injunctive relief, this is a matter for the courts. However, once having undertaken injunctive relief it may then be appropriate to mediate the underlying issue that necessitated the injunction.
If your objective is to establish a legal precedent then you should not mediate.
Mediation is a flexible process – contact us today for a confidential no obligation discussion to find out more. We look forward to hearing from you.
16 What is the difference between mediation and arbitration?
An arbitrator hears evidence from the parties (often through a written submission) but does not usually allow discussion. Arbitration requires legal representation. Having heard the evidence, the arbitrator then makes a decision based on legally based factors and the decision is usually binding on the parties.
In contrast, a mediator does not make any decision that is binding on the parties – the outcome is in their hands and is not imposed on them by a third party. The neutral mediator facilitates dialogue between the parties to the dispute. However it is the parties themselves who make a decision to settle or not to settle. Lawyers are not necessary for mediation, although they are often used.
For more information please contact us today for a confidential, no obligation chat. We look forward to hearing from you.