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Mediation Pilot Goes Live

As reported in last week’s blog and the Times Law Brief the pilot mediation scheme at Manchester County Court for all civil claims allocated to the fast and multi-track went live on Friday 1/9/17.

As one of the mediators involved I am delighted that Judges will promote the service by issuing orders for mediation to be considered in all cases except those involving personal injury and family matters. Mediation is still perfectly reasonable in personal injury cases and with my other hat on I regularly suggest ADR as a way forward for clients; in family law mediation has long been established and there are separate rules that mediation must have been attempted prior to the issue of proceedings.

Mediation under the pilot scheme will also be available for non-money cases including injunctions where the breadth of solutions available to mediators is greater than those available to the courts who cannot, for instance, order someone to “apologise” which is sometimes all it takes. You will recall that the pilot comes on the heels of Lord Justice Briggs’ report into modernising the court process.

The service, whilst not compulsory, will enable the court to penalise parties in costs for not considering or using mediation.

But you don’t have to go to court before mediating you can start the process long before you get near the court room or have to pay out for the increasingly high issue fees.

Meanwhile, and coinciding with the mediation specific inheritance workshops to take place on 21st and 27th September there’s an interesting report in the New York Times where Paul Sullivan discusses how rich families who used to turn to their lawyers now prefer transformative mediation.

A process in which the people involved are encouraged to think differently, which is what mediation is all about.

Thinking about each other’s points of view and seeing how you can best achieve a mutually acceptable resolution.

And if you needed any more examples of where mediation has been the best way forward see Switzerland's record on international mediation, which they have put forward as a reason for them to assist in the crisis on the Korean peninsula.

Swiss authorities say they are ready to act as a mediators to resolve the mounting crisis between North Korea and South Korea and her allies (notably the US).

Doris Leuthard, Swiss president said this week “We are ready to offer our role for good services as a mediator. I think in the upcoming weeks a lot will depend on how the US and China can have an influence in this crisis. That’s why I think Switzerland and Sweden can have a role behind the curtain.”

Switzerland has long been a facilitator on the international stage and mediation is enshrined within its foreign policy. 20 mediations in 15 countries in 20 years is the Swiss claim which have included peace treaties that ended civil wars in Burundi, Colombia, Indonesia and Nepal; Swiss mediators continue to work in other international conflicts including those in Sudan and Israel.

So whether you have an international dispute, a problem in which you have already issued proceedings or are thinking about employing a solicitor to resolve your dispute think again and speak to me Ed Johnson at Northwest Mediation on 07931318347 or via email at

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