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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

Ch ch ch ch Changes and how mediation helps

With the limited access to courts and lawyers mediation is even more so now than ever the best choice to find a resolution for your dispute. Get your dispute resolved now while you can’t go anywhere you can really concentrate on what’s important and what deserves your time and energy.

Northwest Mediation continues to use Zoom, Skype and FaceTime as well as the phone and emails to resolve disputes so please do not feel that you cannot contact us as there are limits on physical meetings.

As I write this someone in Downing Street is putting off what a lot of people consider to be the inevitable hard decision to move jobs (do you jump or do you wait to be pushed?) it’s hard for anyone looking at a change, one of the things I’ve seen over the years is how people (myself included) fail to take the time to properly address challenges until they are faced with the cliff edge.

Mediation can help there, it gives you time and space to think about, discuss and assess your options, the impact on others and you have the added comfort of knowing the details won’t be aired in public.

One of the best reasons to deal with those big decisions via mediations is the confidentiality involved, so whilst I can say I’ve worked for celebrities and their families I can’t say who (or indeed if they were civil, inheritance or family mediations or a bit of all three). Kingsley Knapley’s Charlotte Bradley makes the same point when referring to mediation for “celebrities” a to z list included.

I note that Charlotte refers to shuttle mediation as hybrid in my understanding (given I do most of my civil mediation work by shuttle aka caucus, hybrid refers not to shuttle mediation but to those mediations where lawyers are actively involved with the mediator (whilst the mediator retains neutrality they work with both sides’ lawyers to help the parties reach agreement). Nonetheless it’s a good article.

Back on big changes, it’s hard not to notice the potential impact of the face off in the Ukraine, one of the potential changes will be where our gas supply comes from, Russia has intimated it could cut off supplies to Europe. Threatening to cause an increase in the already exploding heating costs this cannot be understated as the impact incompetent dealings on the UK’s part could have on everyone.

Interesting to see then that Qatar could be wiling to reroute gas supplies, and you guessed it to do so will involve mediation, this time by Joe Biden, as the gas supplies are limited Doha has said that they will need his intervention and mediation to persuade third parties expecting the gas to allow Doha to breach contract and re-distribute their supplies.

It’s got the potential to be a cold winter if he can’t get a deal done, however one hopes his focus will be on avoiding a war first and foremost and the gas supply issue has to come some way down the list.

I’ve been rehashing a talk on mediation this week in advance of presenting to some lawyers the benefits of mediation and inevitably I have to consider the topic (hazelnut in every bite) of compulsory mediation. I still feel on balance it’s better encouraged (Dunnett et sub cases continue to push for it to be the norm after all “silence in the face of an invitation to participate in ADR is…of itself unreasonable PGFII v OMFS and multiple cases where judges have had to, at least, consider the impact of not mediating on costs). It was interesting therefore to see the Turkish experience.

There they make a distinction between compulsory mediation and arbitrary mediation, in some cases notable employment matters it is now compulsory to have a mediator in place before issuing proceedings (case for receivables, compensation claims, and reinstatement demands of employees or employers arising from collective or individual employment agreements) analogous to what happens in a family case where there is no MIAM certificate cases are struck out and sent back if the evidence of mediation is not provided at issue.

Here of course it’s at directions questionnaire’s where you tick a box to say yes we discussed alternatives and have complied with the pre-action protocol (which of itself says that litigation is the last not first resort, a rule honoured in the breach one tends to suggest).

In Turkey employment claims arising from other incidents, most notably personal injury, are not subject to the same requirement although the parties can opt to mediate.

The three pillars of mediation remain it’s voluntary, it’s confidential, the mediator is independent, by using those pillars to support your work the parties keep control, save costs, save time and energy and reduce stress.

In person or via electronic media as we’ve said before choose to mediate early and resolve your issues effectively, timeously, and with less stress and costs than going to your solicitor so you can get out choose a different path, not quite the road less travelled but perhaps the path less adversarial. You have an interest in the outcome the sooner you get round the mediation table the quicker you can move forward and avoid the grilling a cross examination in court would put you through.

By having a deep and meaningful discussions with parties the mediator elicits what the true “red-lines” are and where there is the potential for compromise, it is with this structured period of reflection that the parties are then able to reach an accord.

The flexible nature of mediation and the possible outcomes make it an ideal way to resolve disputes in an ever-changing world and the open nature of discussions in mediation whilst remaining confidential allows all sides to engage fully in the process and understand the needs of all involved allowing parties to reach a conclusion which both sides can live with and move on.

There are so many situations which could have been resolved by early intervention of mediation it continues to surprise me the lengths the public 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, civil mediation or inheritance, wills and probate 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 wills probate mediation; property mediator; civil mediator; civil litigation; fast track mediation; injury mediation

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