Save a Shed Load of Money
In a case brought to Northwest Mediation's attention two neighbours were arguing over a patch of land which you could fit a small shed onto.
They could not agree who owned the land and ended up taking the matter to the specialist Land Tribunal.
As a result they spent over £36,000 arguing over something which had they engaged in mediation would have cost less than £2000, and they still had to pay for the redrawing of the boundaries!
There can be no doubt that mediation is the affordable and sensible first option for any dispute.
LJ Jackson speaking in the Court of Appeal in Thakkar v Patel  EWCA Civ 117 speaking in a case where only one party proactively pursued mediation "if one party frustrates the process by delaying and dragging its feet for no good reason, that will merit a costs sanction”
In all commercial disputes mediation is now expected, fail to do so and you will be penalised in costs!
Don't just take our word for it, mediation works, click here to find out some revealing facts about success and savings
When two tribes go to war?
As a practical application of Mediation skills we were presented with two competing companies each vying for the work of a larger organisation.
Neither tendering party could achieve all the goals set but together they could do so.
However, both parties said they were willing to walk away if they were not the single successful party.
Clearly mediation skills can be applied in this situation to establish the common ground and test the reality of what effect walking away would have on all of the parties.
Sense can prevail in this situation and both tendering parties can come out with work now and possibly for the future but only if they realise that they have a common goal with the other tendering party and the organisation looking to utilise their services.
Litigation a Pyrrhic Victory or No Win All Lose
In 2011 a company was formed by A and B who were in a relationship. The couple had different skills and experience and operated a business which hired 3 vehicles, two of which were owned by the company and the third was leased by a friend of A. B was the company sole director and secretary.
The couple fell out and A took two of the vehicles and sold them, A persuaded the friend to stop leasing the third vehicle thus ending the business.
B was left with a personal guarantee for the cost of the vehicles which would be ruinous to B financially as B had no means of income without the vehicles, the police were not interested.
The parties did not engage in mediation.
Proceedings were issued by B in the name of the company for the return of the vehicles to the company arguing they had been sold without permission.
Ultimately after several applications and many months the company was successful and the vehicles were returned costs were awarded against A in excess of £50,000.
A had no assets or proceeds of sale left, and went bankrupt, A paid nothing; the business failed as it had not been able to trade for months; the vehicles were sold at a significant undervalue; B, the director, who was personally liable to the bank for the cost of the vehicles (£20,000) and the unpaid solicitor’s fees (£30,000) had won the case but ultimately faced bankruptcy as the sale proceeds did not cover B's debts.
Northwest Mediation would have helped in this situation to narrow the arguments down and could have seen a resolution reached without the issue of proceedings, the bankruptcy of both people and closure of the business.
Does it always work?
So what can happen to prevent mediation being successful?
At Northwest Mediation we engage with both parties as soon as possible, the sooner we are in contact the more likely it is that we can save both sides time and money.
As soon as we are approached by one side in a dispute we will contact the other to ask if they are willing to take part in the process.
We copy both sides in to our contact emails and will send each a copy of our latest information on the process and costs. The process is voluntary and if one side is adamant that they want to waste the time and money involved in taking the dispute to court then there is little we can do about that decision....and they may always change their mind once they get their first bill from their solicitors.
We cannot promise that each mediation will result in a complete resolution of your issue but we will give you our full attention for the length of the mediation whether it's an hour or a week (normally it's a day).
Better than Court?
Why does it make sense to deal with issues through mediation rather than court?
In one case Northwest Mediation dealt with tthere was a live claim heading for a lenghty and drawn out trial. When the parties met for mediation it turned out there was another potential claim in the background which was going to be issued once the first case ended.
This would have incurred significant additional time, effort and a large amont of costs on both sides, however, because they were engaged in mediation Northwest Mediation was able to formulate an agreement which dealt with both the live case and the potential claim without additional expense.
Mediation is designed to have a wider scope than court proceedings as you keep control of the process and only include in any settlement agreement the terms you want.