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Storm Warning - Mediation Help!

Whilst Northwest Mediation can’t calm Storm Gareth (named after my brother) which currently rages outside and hasn’t been asked to help Parliament with its struggles with what next for Brexit we can help pour oil on troubled waters in many other ways.

Northwest Mediation has been helping business and individual clients for four years reach settlements they can live with and move forward.

As with Brexit many disputes that arrive at our door start with an examination of what’s happened and with parties trying to level blame, but also as with Brexit allocating blame is not a helpful approach, changing how you address the dispute and looking to how to move forward is one of the key steps in mediation (someone should perhaps tell the PM).

There are as many areas where mediation can help as there are disputes.

Take for example employment disputes under the working time directive. Here members of Ireland's armed forces are taking the Department of Defence in Ireland to court.

Pdforra, who represent members of the armed forces have been pursuing four cases dealing with the length of time rank and file members of the armed forces are expected to work without a break, at odds with the EU working time directive which is part of national law.

The move to offer mediation came from the Department of Defence with Minister of Defence Paul Kehoe saying “The working-time directive is an issue for me and I want to see it concluded as soon as possible.”

Pdforra’s Gerry Guinan said “Pdforra are looking forward to engage in the process of mediation; however, we will be requiring that strict deadlines be adhered to”.

Whatever the outcome of the mediation it could have lasting impact as the scope of mediation is wider than the original claims and could lead to a change in how the military work, both serving the claimants’ wishes by agreeing a settlement and helping the Department of Defence avoid further costly claims – a win-win situation that without mediation would be the classic win-lose scenario.

Northwest Mediation has assists with many contract disputes and now the Property Ombudsman has announced that such disputes with Estate Agents (whose fees still surprise me as compared to a conveyancer’s fee) will now be dealt with by one Will Chalmers’ Mediator Network (a mediation referral service).

The move (pun intended) comes after a number of disputes arising from estate agents claiming fees even after they are no longer instructed but have introduced the eventual buyer (provided they did so within six months).

The deputy ombudsman, Jane Erskine, said “When considering a dual fee case, our view is that the agent who effectively introduced the buyer to the transaction should be the agent who is entitled to the fee.

“Feedback from agents highlighted the need for TPO to clearly define what would in our view constitute an effective introduction.

“TPO will expect to see evidence that the agent who is claiming that they introduced the buyer to the transaction carried out an act that initiated the buyer’s reaction to the property; that act can be clearly demonstrated by the carrying out of a viewing.

“We have also received enquiries from agents who wish to resolve the matter between themselves, without the need for consumers to raise a formal complaint.

“Focused on helping TPO agents to find a mutually beneficial outcome, mediation is effective as both sides of the dispute positively want to find a solution to the disagreement.

“We have been working with Mediator Network and believe the company is an ideal provider of mediation for dual fees disputes.

“Mediator Network understands the matters we see and the particular issues that arise in this area and, in sharing our ethos in protecting the consumer and resolving disputes based on fairness and reason, we are confident to recommend agents use Mediator Network to resolve their disputes, rather than pursue consumers for recompense or end up facing expensive litigation.”

Will added ““Mediation is growing in popularity and, with courts and tribunals backed-up with case waiting lists, even the legal sector is keen to divert businesses to mediation as a solution for property disputes.

“We are delighted to have partnered with TPO to resolve agent-to-agent disputes in such a forward-thinking way and we’re pleased that TPO is endorsing a more positive experience for participants, all round.”

The agreement appears to be limited to residential conveyancing, Northwest Mediation continues to assist businesses in dispute with estate agents and other contract service providers.

Another area where Northwest Mediation helps clients is in disputes between landlords and tenants, north of the border funding is now being made available by SafeDeposits Scotland Trust for Scottish Mediation to run a series of workshops aimed at landlords, agents and tenants.

Backed by the Letting Agents Registration Team (part of the Scottish Government) the aim is to provide the participants with the tools of mediation to avoid conflict and resolve differences without the need to litigate.

Director of Scottish Mediation Graham Boyack said of the workshops: “Scottish Mediation is confident that the funding awarded, which will allow us to work with agents throughout Scotland, will help build positive relationships in the private rented sector.”

SafeDeposits Scotland Trust’s chair John Duff added “The skills participants will gain from these sessions will help to reduce conflict in the private rented sector, and help to further educate letting agents. We are hopeful that in gaining conflict resolution skills, the letting agents on this workshop will work towards a more co-operative PRS in Scotland.

“The SafeDeposits Scotland Trust is proud to have funded such a wide range of important projects that share our aims of making the PRS in Scotland fairer for all parties.”

So whilst Northwest Mediation cannot help reduce the ferocity of Storm Gareth we can assist and reduce the ferocity of your personal and business conflicts, whether they arise from a dispute with a service provider, a contract breach, within a landlord and tenant relationship, with an employer or an employee or with your estate agent.

There are so many cases which could have been resolved by early intervention of mediation it continues to surprise me the lengths the public (and some lawyers) will go to avoid referral.

Whether you need a mediator to help out with a construction matter in the Northwest, or council’s plans in Cheshire, a civil mediator in London (yes we travel), a commercial mediator in Manchester, a dispute resolution for your family in Liverpool, a neighbourhood 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 boundary dispute, a fight with a neighbour, family issues, commercial disputes or you need inheritance mediation contact Northwest Mediation on 07931318347 or via email at

neighbour mediation; commercial dispute resolution; civil mediation; commercial dispute; corporate dispute; commercial mediator; family mediation; inheritance mediation; property mediator; civil mediator; civil litigation; fast track mediation; injury mediation

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