At its simplest, the mediation process is a discussion aimed at resolving differences amicably. Add to that the fact that, quite simply, mediation works. Statistics show that 89% of mediations are successful and result in a settlement either on the day, or shortly after the day of the mediation (source: CEDR Mediation Audit 2018).
In addition, mediation is a flexible process that the parties engage in on a contractual basis – in other words, you agree to mediate and how to mediate. There are no court rules or other requirements that rob you of control of the process.
- Time spent at mediation often costs less than just the court fees payable to start a claim.
- Failure to mediate means that you may not recover your costs even if you win at court; in certain matters it is now a mandatory requirement to at least consider mediation before commencing court proceedings.
- In terms of legal fees, mediation normally lasts one day whereas litigation runs into several days not just at trial but in the lead up to it as well – on average, legal fees in litigation are around 40 to 50 times than the cost of mediation.
- Quite aside from the financial costs, the long and arduous process of litigation is extremely stressful and takes a toll on parties’ health and emotional well-being.
The parties control the process – some people like a face-to-face discussion at mediation to find common ground, others do not want to be in the same room. Some wish to bring lawyers along on the day, others want to bring a friend for support. Mediation allows the parties to agree how they wish for the discussion to be conducted, there are no hard and fast rules.
Our mediators take into account the preferences of all parties and make suggestions about how the mediation may run in practical terms, but you always have control over the process – not something that can be said about the litigation process through the courts.
Moreover, the mediation process is confidential and without prejudice, allowing parties to keep their dispute out of the public eye (which is not the case with court litigation).
Parties can agree on any outcome they please, and not risk having to live with an outcome imposed on them by a court of law. Also, courts are limited in what remedies they are able to order.
In mediation, the parties can agree whatever compromise works for each of them based on their commercial or personal realities and ambitions; there is no “loser” in mediation. And any agreement reached is legally binding by way of a signed settlement agreement.