Mediation is a private and confidential method of resolving disputes before legal proceedings are issued or to end proceedings before trial. Meditation involves an independent mediator appointed by the parties attempting to broker a settlement between them. The parties remain in control of the process throughout and can leave at any time if they chose to do so. A mediation ends when the parties come to a binding agreement or when one or all of the parties conclude that it is not possible to reach an agreement.
Inevitably mediation can involve significant compromises by the parties on what they perceive to be their strict legal rights. However, in return the parties achieve certainty as to the outcome of their disputes and the avoidance of the uncertainty of outcome that contested trials represent. In addition settlement by mediation can be a significantly more cost effective method of achieving a resolution of a dispute than a contested Court process. For these reasons we often advise and represent our clients in relation to using mediation to resolve their commercial and property related disputes. Furthermore, the Courts encourage mediation as a way of resolving disputes.
Our dispute resolution lawyers are very experienced in advising on and representing clients in mediations. Julian Johnstone, Druces’ head of litigation is a Centre For Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) trained mediator. We advise our clients on the mediation process, methods for maximising the possibility of a satisfactory settlement and on the appointment of a suitable mediator. We can recommend mediators or obtain shortlists of candidates from various mediation bodies like CEDR. We represent our clients during mediations and draft up binding settlement agreements on a successful conclusion. If necessary we take steps on our clients’ behalf to enforce settlement agreements that are not being complied with by other parties.
In the vast majority of cases our experience and that of our clients is that mediation is a highly effective method of resolving disputes cost effectively when used in the right way and at the right time. We have successfully used mediation to settle commercial litigation proceedings, employment disputes, partnership disputes, construction cases and property litigation cases.
Recent mediations have resulted in the advantageous settlement of a number of our clients’ claims.