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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes in mediation

With the continued backlog of cases 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 should we add we also do live in person mediation too! So please do not feel that you cannot contact us if you would like to mediate but wish to do so remotely.


I was reminded this week that a change of decision can be hard. Let’s say that someone decided not to attend the vitally important COP27 but then changed their mind and decided to go, depending on your point of view this is either a weak person bending to challenge or a brave decision to accept the initial refusal was an error.


Change is vital in mediation, a party may not change how they view the other side but they might alter their understanding of the actions taken and will have to change their stance in order to find a resolution.


I don’t normally post something which is an advert but the topic this week is change so let’s do it! The title of Susan Hernandez’s webinar later this month is too good not to mention “inside the mind of a mediator”, the webinar is actually about “smart brief-craft” including making sure you prepare as well as you can for a mediation can ensure hitting the target for parties of reaching a resolution. Fail to prepare is to prepare to fail and all that.


Inside this mediator’s mind would be an entirely different jumble of thoughts from work related matters to recipes diary dates (for various members of the family) blog posts and dealing with rats in the loft (they’ve gone if you were wondering).


I have incidentally booked onto the webinar and I’ll report back later if the 10pm start doesn’t mean I’m otherwise engaged.



And one change which could be on the horizon is mandatory mediation, I keep coming back to it as a possibility, but then back away as I think about the voluntary nature being key.


(incidentally this picture is really not mediation it looks more like couples' counselling I've never had two parties hold hands in a mediation nor would it be appropriate!)


This webcast has a discussions between two Kiwi’s James South (a native of New Zealand who is in favour) and Geoff Sharp (a Kiwi barrister now living and working over or up here and puts the case against).


James is all for the mandatory mediation, in line with Sir Geoffrey Voss’ most recent push whereas Geoff has some considerable concerns about it, not just on the esoteric nature of what being voluntary means but the impact of forcing parties into mediation when they don’t want to.


I think the change is coming and I’m ready to change my regular introduction from VIP to just IP (independence and private). I know some people will be reluctant and yes it brings into the legal process another pre-litigation step but we know it works as a process, and even those who have only attended because their lawyers told them they should have come out with good results, quicker and cheaper than court. The audio is here.



And another change this time in the employment tribunal where judges are now regularly challenging participants on why they are litigating and not mediating.

Interesting to hear (or read your preference) that the push is coming from judges towards lawyers to make them get their clients into mediation.


The difference in the old ET is that this form of judicial mediation is not charged for (which in my view devalues what we do as mediators, free service tends to be regarded as either poor or just another hoop, having skin in the game is always preferable in my opinion to keep clients engaged).


Rebecca Sulley’s piece is worth a bit of time if you do any kind of civil mediation but particularly if you have an interest in employment disputes.


Again the picture clearly isn't an employment tribunal I've been both sides of that particular experience so they look nothing like this.

The three pillars of mediation remain it’s voluntary (except apparently when it won’t be anymore), 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. Finally this one is mediation, mediator jointly appointed, areas of discussion agreed and intention to be bound by the outcome.


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 me at Northwest Mediation on 0161 667 4418 or via email at ed.johnson@northwestmediation.co.uk

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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