What is involved? – Our Most Frequently Asked Questions About Mediation:
We are often contacted by potential clients who simply have questions about mediation including “what is mediation” to “how much mediation costs” and “what is the mediation process”. As a form of dispute resolution mediation is perhaps not as well known as some other forms of settlement solution. However, it is often the most efficient, cost effective and successful method. We often receive calls from clients enquiring about the suitability of mediation to their specific circumstances.
We always recommend you undertake your own research before deciding on which service is the best for your individual case and which mediator you would like to work with. However, as a brief overview below are some of our most frequently asked questions about mediation.
Your questions about mediation answered:
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution where a neutral third-party seeks to find a settlement that is mutually agreeable to the disputing parties. Mediation takes place privately and does not require formal action as in more traditional types of conflict resolution. You may also have been advised by your legal representatives that mediation is a good idea before trial.
Compared to other options for resolving disputes, mediation is quick, inexpensive, and private. It is also an informal process, not limited by rules of evidence, procedure, or remedy. Mediation allows for maximum flexibility in finding a resolution that will be acceptable to all parties.
Please click here to view our introductory video.
The mediation process is entirely voluntary and becomes binding for the disputing parties by the use of a Tomlin Order, this is often drawn up by the legal representatives that may have been with you on the day of the mediation. The mediator themselves have no power to make a judgement or to force the parties to accept a settlement.
The mediator’s role is facilitative and focused on encouraging the parties to discuss their issues, identifying obstacles to settlement and developing strategies for overcoming them.
As a general guide there are 6 steps to a formal mediation:
- Statement of the area surrounding the mediation by the parties involved
- Information gathering
- Identification of the problems, obstacles and common ground
- Negotiating and generating possible options
- Reaching the agreement.
Once the conflicting participants involved in the mediation are committed to achieving a negotiated settlement, the mediator may propose private sessions sessions with both sides to explore the potential solutions. This will ideally lead to a final agreement, this will be agreeable to all parties and provide the foundation for moving forward.
One of our most frequent questions about mediation is “how much does it cost?”. Research shows that mediation is cost-effective, more private and quicker than using lawyer or taking things through the formal court process.
A guide for mediation costs can be found here. Mediators are free to charge fees according to their own scales, these are usually structured around on a sliding scale depending on:
- the value of the dispute and how many parties are involved
- complexity of the issues under discussion
- qualifications and experience of the mediator
- number of sessions required to reach an agreement
Most mediators charge either by the hour or using daily or partial daily rates. The parties decide how those costs will be shared. It is usual for the costs to be paid equally by each party, as this provides each side accountability to be there and to maximize the use of the time in the day.
Mediators will not include in their fees items such as venue hire, travel time (over and above a pre-agreed period), overnight accommodation, catering. These costs are in addition to the quoted fees. Preparation time for the mediation should not exceed one day and time over and above this threshold will be quoted for separately.
Commercial, workplace and family business mediations cover a broad cross-section of disputes, ranging in value from thousands pounds to multi-billion pounds.
Mediation can successfully take place within every sector of business and law. Some examples of the type of mediation cases we take part in, or can offer our services within are:
- Commercial contract disputes
- Shareholder/Partnership issues
- Breach of Warranties
- Defective products
- Construction design or installation disagreements
- Professional negligence and personal injury
- Termination of employment
- Workplace discrimination or harassment
- Compromise agreement violations
- Break-up of family business
- Employee performance
- Removal of family member from a family business
- Property disputes
- Intellectual Property and copyright infringements
You will find a full list of our mediation services here.
There can be no set time for how long a typical case will take given the unique and individual circumstances of each session and the parties involved.
As a general rule is a less time consuming process than other forms of conflict resolution, with this in mind a one day session is a good starting point.
All Amediation sessions are organised and focused on finding mutually acceptable agreements in a time efficient manner.
We will initially discover the underlying issues behind the dispute and relationship breakdown before moving on to exploring potential solutions. By listening and understanding the core reasons for the disagreement, some of which may be historical especially in cases relating to family businesses, we have found we can quickly move to the settlement stage.
Yes, Amediation follows and has adopted the EU Model Code of Conduct for Mediators.
Settlements reached in mediation are not in themselves legally binding. However, they can be made legally binding once agreement has been reached on the day by the way of a Tomlin Order. It is normal for this to be required by the parties.
Having reached a mediated solution it is a fairly straightforward task for a solicitor to draw up the Tomlin Order whilst they are in situ at the mediation. These often are written up by hand for speed and copies signed off by each party and copies held by each party.
Arbitration is similar to a court process. Conflicting parties are required to provide testimony and give evidence as in a case that goes to traditional court trial, but it is usually less formal.
Mediation involves a process that is a negotiation with the assistance of a neutral third party. In mediation the parties do not reach a resolution unless all sides agree.