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Bray & Bray’s commercial dispute resolution department now offers commercial mediation, which can be used to resolve any type of commercial dispute.

Businesses in dispute usually resort to the Court where a judge will decide who is right and who is wrong.  In comparison, commercial mediation allows disputing businesses to reach an agreement through an independent third party, mediator who facilitates an agreement.

In our interview with Tim Bennett, Head of Dispute Resolution at Bray & Bray, he explains when mediation can be used and the commercial benefits of mediation.

Q: How would you describe mediation?

A: Mediation is a process where the parties to a dispute agree to appoint an independent neutral third party mediator to facilitate the settlement of a dispute.  The mediation process is confidential and is without prejudice.  This means that nothing mentioned in the mediation process can later be referred to either in any Court proceedings or otherwise.  Unless and until an agreement is reached in mediation, neither party commits to a settlement and the parties’ attendance at the mediation is voluntary. Mediation can be used to resolve any type of dispute and if an agreement is reached at mediation, that agreement is recorded in writing and is binding.

Q: What types of mediation are there?

A: Mediation is commonly used for the resolution of civil and commercial disputes, workplace disputes and family disputes.  However, in all areas of mediation, the mediator will be an independent and neutral third party.  In the field of civil and commercial mediation, the style of mediation can be either facilitative or evaluative.  Facilitative mediation involves the mediator as a neutral third party facilitator.  Evaluative mediation involves the mediator in a more interventionist role of helping the parties to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their cases.

Q: How is mediation a good addition to the services that Bray & Bray already provides?

A: As the civil court system becomes increasingly hard to access on the grounds of cost, we believe that mediation will become increasingly important in the field of dispute resolution.

Q: What does your qualification/training mean that you can now do?

A: I am a mediator accredited by the Central for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR).  CEDR is the pre-eminent organisation providing training and accreditation for mediators.

Q: How will this help existing and new clients?

A: Being a trained accredited mediator helps me in two ways:-

  • As an accredited mediator I am better able to advise my clients regarding resolution of their dispute.
  • As an accredited mediator I am available to act as an independent third party mediator for parties who are not clients of Bray & Bray.

Q: What do you find most interesting about mediation?

A: The challenge of facilitating resolution of what are often apparently intractable disputes.

Q: What do you think is most valuable about mediation?

A: In monetary terms, the cost of mediation is almost always significantly less than the cost of parties engaging in court proceedings.  Mediation is valuable because the agreement that the parties reach is their agreement which can be flexible and can accommodate all areas of difference between them.  A dispute resolved by the court may be inflexible, and is sometimes wrong – judges do get cases wrong.

Q: What other experience do you have which mediation complements?

A: I qualified as a solicitor in 1993 and since 2000 have worked exclusively in the field of civil and commercial disputes resolution.  I was a Partner at a firm of solicitors in Leicester before joining Bray & Bray in 2008 as Partner and Head of the Dispute Resolution Department.  I act for clients involved in a wide range of disputes, which includes disputes between private individuals and commercial disputes.  I bring my experience in dispute resolution to my role as mediator.

Commercial mediation services

If you are experiencing a dispute with another business or business person and would like some advice about whether mediation would be a good way to attempt to resolve your dispute, you can contact Tim Bennett directly at tjbennett@braybray.co.uk or call to speak to him on 0116 254 8871.