At Bray & Bray our Mediation solicitors will advise whether disputes should be resolved through court proceedings or Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), including Mediation.
Mediation is a process by which a neutral third party (the mediator) assists the individuals and facilitates the reaching of an agreement which settles your dispute on terms which each finds acceptable.
Alternative Dispute Resolution, or ADR, refers to any process where the individuals in dispute agree to resolve the dispute without engaging in court proceedings; either in the County Court or High Court. ADR is flexible and can be adapted to suit the your needs.
It is important to note that unreasonable refusal to engage in ADR may result in cost sanctions against the party who refused to engage, if the dispute is subsequently dealt with through court proceedings.
How mediation can help with legal disputes
We are here to ensure that you get the fairest possible results from Mediation. To help you better understand the mediation process, we have outlined some important principles below:
- Mediation is a process both confidential and without prejudice. This means that any matters raised within mediation cannot later be referred to in any existing or subsequent court proceedings.
- The role of mediator is solely to facilitate the reaching of an agreement between yourself and other parties.
- Before the mediation starts, parties enter into a mediation agreement with each other and with the mediator. The mediation agreement sets out the ground rules.
- Mediation allows the individuals to settle their dispute in a non-confrontational manner. The Mediator will ensure that all matters are dealt with in a safe and unthreatening environment.
- A binding and enforceable settlement agreement will be enforced if an agreement is reached during mediation.
- With permission, the mediator will seek and disclose information in order to facilitate an agreement between the individuals.
Advice about civil mediation
Bray & Bray regularly represents clients at mediation. We see that mediation often results in successful resolution of disputes, even those which may appear incapable of being resolved.
Contact a civil mediation disputes solicitor
Please contact us at our Leicester office on 0116 254 8871.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is Mediation?
A: Mediation is a process by which a neutral third party (the mediator) assists the parties and facilitates the reaching of an agreement which settles the parties’ dispute on terms which each finds acceptable.
Q: What happens if court proceedings have already begun?
A: The fact that parties have already started court proceedings does not prevent them engaging in ADR at the same time. The Civil Procedure Rules governing court proceedings in England and Wales specifically refer to the need for parties in dispute to consider ADR before starting court proceedings.
Q: What happens during Mediation?
A: While there is a general process that mediators use to settle disputes, that process is flexible. The usual process involves the mediator meeting parties privately in their own allocated private rooms at an agreed venue, such as the mediator’s offices. In that first meeting the mediator explains the mediation process and deals with the important rules regarding confidentiality and without prejudice. After these initial private meetings, there would usually be a short joint session when the parties and their legal representatives (if any) meet with the mediator. In that first joint session the mediator explains the ground rules for mediation and each party has an opportunity to explain their position. After the joint session the parties return to their private rooms and mediation continues, with the mediator having discussions with the respective parties and, taking information between them. A further important point to make about confidentiality is that whatever a party tells the mediator is confidential and is not disclosed to the party’s opponent unless the party providing that information specifically authorises the mediator to disclose it.
Q: How long is the Mediation process?
A: Mediation is a process that cannot be rushed. Parties to mediation should expect the mediation process to take a full day.
Q: Are their other forms of ADR?
A: Another form of ADR is a without prejudice, round table meeting where the parties and their advisors meet face to face to discuss settlement. Sometimes it might be the parties’ advisors who meet together. We often find that without an independent and neutral mediator, without prejudice meetings are less likely to achieve success.