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  • Ed

Why wouldn't you you go to mediation?

There are hundreds of missed opportunities for mediation in the UK, set out below are some instances where the acceptance of the benefits of the process is clear to people and businesses around the world.

Time and costs savings are at the forefront of the drive towards mediation in Singapore.

To answer the increased demand the Singapore Contractors Association (SCAL) has established the Singapore Construction Mediation Centre (SCMC).

24 senior construction officers and CEOs all trained mediators will assist housing contractors and subcontractors in dispute reach resolution (I don’t really consider that contractual disputes require specialist construction mediators but in specific construction matters where an understanding of the relevant regulation as opposed to simply contract terms is needed I can see the relevance).

Pinsent Masons MPillay’s Yong Neng Chan said "Launch of the industry-niche mediation centre is testament to the advancement and quality of Singapore's construction dispute resolution offering," he said. "The by-contractors for-contractors mediation centre is welcomed as an alternative avenue for interest-based resolution of contractor disputes."

And making sure that mediation is properly engaged upon is at the forefront of the ind of the times in this article.

As Christopher Hames QC,of 4 Paper Buildings, sets out the disappointment that some family practitioners are using mediation simply as a tick box exercise, you’ve been to mediation good on we go! That’s not the purpose of mediation in any case (and if Christopher thinks it’s bad in family law he will no doubt be further disappointed by the lack of uptake and careless attitude to mediation in the civil courts).

As he highlights only 60% of couples in family cases took up mediation, despite the huge success rate the process has (and again I say both in family and in civil claims).

Is there anything we can do to encourage lawyers and their clients to approach mediators at an early stage rather than when obliged to by the court or simply because they need to tick the box? Keep pushing the news that mediation works, it’s cheaper, quicker and less stressful than court proceedings.

Following Altice France’s failure to agree terms with Free in relation to their provision of channels BFM Business, BFM TV, RMC Decouverte and RMC Story both companies have agreed that the electronic media regulator CSA will act as mediator in attempts to resolve their multi-million euro dispute.

So you can see that large companies in dispute around the world turn to mediation why is it that other companies in the UK are so reluctant to take up the option, is it a lack of awareness (probably) a reluctance of some lawyers to engage (equally possible, as one colleague told me some lawyers take the view that ADR stands for astounding drop in revenue) or a mix of both, more than likely.

However, the more we as mediators can explain to the public the benefits of mediation (see our case studies) and the more we can engage with lawyers on the help we can offer (not just to avoid the costs penalties for their clients but to help reach a resolution).

Meanwhile in Florida (Polk County to be precise) the local council is considering whether to fund community mediation for its populace.

Given the constraints on council funding (no less there than here) there are good reasons why such an approach would be adopted and the money spent – do I need to say mediation saves money, time and stress again?

Remaining in the US (but across to LA) and I’ll hold my hand up I don’t pay much attention to the gossip columns (or the Daily Mail in general) but evidence of the uptake and uptick in mediation comes from former/ex/reformed Spice Girl Mel B’s dispute with her former Nanny Lorraine Gilles.

In this case the attraction to mediation may well be its confidential nature. In a case where there have been claims and counter claims along with restraining orders and costs orders it makes sense for the parties to Stop and head to mediation no doubt because what they really, really want is an accommodation which can be reached without the need to share the outcome with the public, and indeed when the wishes of the two become the one outcome and they can say Goodbye to each other before they waste more time, money and further stress (Too Much?).

Another Great article here on Mondaq listing the 7 points leading to a great mediation outcome in commercial mediation, I shan’t repeat all of Andy Rogers’ detailed analyses but the questions certainly reflect those Northwest Mediation asks of clients in civil and commercial mediation the

  1. Who comes to negotiate?

  2. Where is authority to settle the matter and how far does it go?

  3. What are the relations between all of those involved?

  4. Is there any reason why people should not or cannot be brought together at all?

  5. How prepared and willing to mediate are those attending?

  6. Should a reflection stage be built into the process?

  7. What are the time constraints?

As we often now say don’t send the book keeper to deal with a mediation unless they have specific authority to settle - yes it happened – Northwest Mediation thought outside the box and ended up skyping the MD to find a solution rather than let the mediation fail.

Finally this week look out for our Unboxing the mediation and the mediator Vlog – if we can get the uplink to work! It (will hopefully) be a quick guide on what to expect of both the person and the process.

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, 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 fight with a neighbour, family issues, commercial disputes or inheritance arguments 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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