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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

Deflation, elation, mediation

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.

Feeling deflated this week, not least thanks to my tyre going on the M60 when I was due to see my brother for the first time in a year for his 50th.

People often feel deflated after mediation, it’s the same come down kids have after a party they get wound up are high on the adrenaline rush and then when it’s over (and as clients often say “why didn’t we do this sooner?”) the sudden release of tension can be a shock, but remember you can move on now your civil dispute is finished no more worries about what the post will bring or what your former employee/neighbour/customer will say or what your insurance report is going to look like.

Don’t just take my word for it even the Law Society Gazette is catching on, in this lengthy though thoughtful piece dealing as it does with civil litigation and how mediation is the now inevitable next step to be brought in as pseudo-compulsory. The article quotes CEDR’s own research on their own cases that numbers have increased from 2000 to 16,500 in 20 years.

In the six years Northwest Mediation has been going we’ve seen a steady increase not just of lawyers referring matters to us but of clients contacting us before seeing solicitors, either is fine by us!

You won’t be surprised that proponents of ADR in the article quote massive savings in cost, time and energy for businesses and the people running them who have attended mediation rather than fight matters in court.

Henrietta Jackson-Stops who is part of the CMC/government liaison committee points out that there is now promotion of mediation from the top down the MR and beach loving Justice Secretary both recently propounding the benefits of mediation and that as I’ve said in every blog for 6 years no matter is too big for mediation ‘We are seeing a decline in the view, often held by the judiciary, that a case is too complex, too large or the parties are too far apart to be successfully mediated…We know from experience that these factors are not barriers to the successful resolution of a dispute.’

Per Geoffrey Vos Master of the rolls “ADR should no longer be viewed as ‘alternative’ but as an integral part of the dispute resolution process. That process should focus on resolution rather than dispute’.

When I think of the cases I’ve personally dealt with where parties were dealing with complex contractual matters, oral agreements and differences of opinion on settlement figures which have been in excess of £1 million but get resolved in mediation I do sometimes wonder why anyone litigates without at least attempting mediation.

Lord Neuberger and former president of the Supreme court Lord Phillips have both backed calls for mediation to be adopted by all parties in civil claims.

One could argue that as mediation becomes expected and the bar to penalties for refusal slowly comes down it’s critical that lawyers get on board now or face potential negligence claims for not advising mediation.

Meanwhile globally mediation gets a promotion, you’ll remember the Singapore Convention which makes international mediation settlements enforceable? We’ve mentioned it before but it gets another boost from this report in Global Post covering the 55 countries who have signed up.

The convention covers settlements where either the parties or their assets are in two different countries both of whom are signatories, so two US companies can use the convention if the dispute involves at least one asset located outside the US.

In the England and Wales jurisdiction we work in a civil mediation settlement agreement has all the elements needed to form a binding contract so the parties can issue at court should one or the other breach the terms, though it is rare this should happen we would always encourage parties come back to mediation if they know a breach is going to take place and should talk to each other, communication is often the key in civil disputes (normally you have to get past the already aggressive letters form the parties’ lawyers and get the parties themselves talking to begin making headway).

And if it works for the tax office (yes I’ve paid mine including the tax on the SEISS before you ask HMRC) it has to be good for you n’est pas? The latest tax report on Taxation ADR shows a success rate in excess of 80% of cases, that’s slightly lower than our success rate but we’re just so super we wouldn’t expect others to follow quite so closely.

And if you do have tax issues ask for mediation, rather than spend the hours and thousands of pounds in tribunal.

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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