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Mediation is a requirement in civil litigation

Following the isolation of Qatar by some of its neighbours (Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Yemen, Libya's eastern-based government and the Maldives) Kuwait has offered to mediate talks to bring an end to the cessation of diplomatic ties.

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani (the Qatari foreign minister) announced that Kuwait's emir would travel to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, he said he wanted "a dialogue of openness and honesty".

And if international engagement in mediation isn’t enough to persuade you that mediation is the way forward consider that the Court of Appeal has recently endorsed and enforced the use of mediation restating the position it adopted in PGF II SA v OMFS [2013] EWCA (Civ) 1288 when the Court stated that ignoring a proposal to mediate a dispute will result in costs sanctions (whether or not that refusal was reasonable.

Now in Thakkar v Patel [2017] EWCA Civ 117 it has added to this saying that in relation to mediation "if one party frustrates the process by delaying and dragging its feet for no good reason, that will merit a costs sanction”.

Thakkar is not a family case but a landlord claim for dilapidations of commercial premises where the tenants counterclaimed for reimbursement of rent for a period when they couldn’t use the premises due to a flood.

The claimant had a net win of over £28,000, when looking at the costs of the action the court acknowledged the claimants were proactive and attempted to commence mediation over the course of 4 months, the defendant “was to say the least apparently relatively unenthusiastic or lacking in preparedness to be flexible'

Directly as a result of the defendant failing to engage in mediation they were ordered to pay 75% of the claimants’ costs.

The court of appeal upheld the trial judge’s opinion of the parties’ behaviour that this case should have been mediated Jackson LJ 'I would have been astonished if a skilled mediator failed to bring the parties to a sensible settlement'.

As with many commercial and individual mediations Northwest Mediation has conducted Jackson LJ agreed that the costs outweighed the claims and the parties when they came to it were not that far apart.

If you have a commercial dispute in need of resolution or an individual matter where the cost of taking the claim to court will quickly outweigh issues call Ed Johnson at Northwest Mediation on 07931318347 or via email at

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