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This is Spinal Tap (in mediation)

For people of a certain age the 1984 rockumentary This Is Spinal Tap holds a much beloved place in their hearts (I couldn't find a shot of an amp turned up to eleven).

So, being a mediator of a certain age I can’t resist mentioning that the creators of Derek Smalls, David St Hubbins and Nigel Tuffnel (Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer – better known to younger readers as the voice talent from The Simpsons – and Rob Reiner) have asked the owner of the rights to This Is Spinal Tap to “Gimme Some Money” as for the last 30 years Vivendi have passed over little more than $200, barely enough to cup them in “Cups and Cakes”.

It features in this blog as they are taking the case to mediation.

The creative talent are looking for damages in excess of $400 million, arguing that they have been unfairly deprived of the proceeds of their work.

Both sides have agreed a mediator who they rust will resolve the dispute or narrow the issues between them.

Meanwhile in more traditional mediation (but staying with TV personalities) actress Audrina Patridge (yes I had to Google her as well) star of reality TV show “The Hills” has agreed to mediation for her divorce settlement with ex-husband and fellow actor Corey Bohan (who Patridge earlier this year alleged was stalking her).

One of the basic tenets of mediation is that the outcomes are private, as has ever been the case in family disputes, but I suppose when you live your life by Insta-twitter-book-gram it’s inevitable that you play out even the agreement to care for your two year old daughter in the public eye, let alone the financial split of marital assets.

I said last week that HMRC were terribly nice people to deal with and here’s more evidence they are turning more to mediation than ever to resolve tax disputes.

Collections via mediation are up a whopping 62% from just over £25 million to just under £41 million last tax year.

“HMRC seems to have realised the value that mediation can offer to both sides in a tax dispute. It can provide a speedy and effective method of resolving tax disputes, which benefits both taxpayers and the Treasury…mediation offers an opportunity for long-running and complex disputes to be resolved without the need for formal litigation and the inevitable delay that can bring” said Adam Craggs partner and head of tax disputes at RPC

Our offer to HMRC to help out with any mediations remains open.

We tried to avoid mentioning the B word but there comes a point where we have to talk about mediation post Brexit.

This is a interesting article from Pinsent Mason this week which sets out that whilst currently cross-border mediation is still governed Mediation Directive within the EU following Brexit in new mediations this cannot be the case.

Whilst mediation will remain confidential the rules on stopping limitation periods may change Jim Cormack QC of Pinsent Masons says "The significance of the repeal is perhaps more symbolic as it explicitly recognises that Brexit results in the end of reciprocity in this respect between the UK and the relevant remaining member states of the EU"

HM Government has said "The UK parliament cannot legislate to restore reciprocity and to ensure that EU member states continue to apply the special rules set down in the Mediation Directive to cross-border mediations involving parties domiciled or habitually resident in the UK which would not otherwise fall within the scope of the Mediation Directive"

Just another example of where a “straightforward in/out” vote was badly considered.

The Construction Industry Council (CIC) is looking to consult with mediators within the field on their proposals for a mediation model agreement and procedure.

The step will in effect narrow access to only those mediators who are in member firm of the CIC and who have a minimum of ten years experience.

Far be it from me to suggest such a step is a limit on diversity in the business or to encourage new mediators to work in the construction industry.

There will always be a place for specialist knowledge in some mediations but often the disputes within the construction industry are limited to the same contractual disputes as any other area of business.

Chair of the CIC’s Adjudicator Nominating Body Niall Lawless said “Mediation saves disputing parties money and time, it engenders practical solutions, and it preserves and restores relationships. When mediation works it can be like magical. The CIC wants you to share your views in this important consultation to help ensure we provide a truly robust process.”

The words “closed” and “shop” leap to mind.

Whether you need a mediator to help out with the a construction matter (which isn’t bound to the CIC) in the Northwest, or council’s plans in Cheshire, a civil mediator in London, a commercial mediator in Manchester, a dispute resolution for your family in Liverpool, a neighborhood mediation in Stockport, then our mediators at Northwest Mediation can help.

Mediation is cheaper, quicker and less stressful than running any case to court, it can help with any dispute whether it's an employment issue or the sale at an under value of a property, a fight with a neighbour, family issues, civil or commercial disputes or inheritance arguments contact Northwest Mediation on 07931318347 or via email at

neighbour mediation; commercial dispute resolution; commercial dispute; corporate dispute; commercial mediator; family mediation; inheritance mediation; property mediator;

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