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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

Delay defeats justice, delays you moving on, mediation is quicker

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 wondered where to stat this week, I could moan about car problems and spin that into a blog about support, but I did that last week then I got an email from the court on a case I’ve been working on.

The background is that my client is about a year and half on from issuing financial proceedings (previous without prejudice talks fell apart so probably 2 years since work began and some 3 years since divorce).

Final hearing with an unresponsive other party was listed for a couple of weeks’ time from now (we issued in December), today I received an email from the court to the effective of “sorry no judges relisted for November”.

Delay is a major problem with our court system, clients think we make it up that it will take months to get to a final hearing, we don’t it does, this was a straightforward case which could have been resolved had the other party properly engaged in discussions months if not years ago. Do not delay your own life get into mediation now!

Interesting piece in the FT suggesting that there’s complaints of “drift and delay” in some mediations, sadly true if one party isn’t fully engaged or both parties struggle with dates (I do weekends and evenings to help but it does make the price a little higher) you can get some delay, and certain institutions are slow at sending out financial details (I’m looking at you pension companies) but ultimately it’s a hell of a lot quicker than court.

Compare the real life scenario above against a mediation in which I worked with the parties met 3 times in joint session over the course of 8 weeks before an agreement was reached, probably 10 weeks total if you include the two MIAMs, so two and a half months as opposed to that amount of time before a first hearing, not a final hearing, not a decision but a first hearing for directions normally with another hearing listed months after…assuming they have the judges.

Come on it’s a no brainer, the agreement gets made into an order at the end so is legally binding (I humbly disagree with the write of the article as I’m not sure why you’d want to go for an arbitration once you’ve agreed you get the order made, there’s always some give and take that’s the nature of negotiation arbitration is still handing control over.)

Setting pre-conditions to mediation can slow the start of things down as well, in this instance I perfectly understand President Zelensky’s requirement for talks to start is that Russia withdraws completely.

We know that won’t happen, at least not immediately, we hope it will of course, but clients sometimes do this as well.

You’ll get someone who wants disclosure of (let’s not say Whatsapp messages) documents prior to talks, well that’s fine providing the bundle is agreed as part of the mediation process, if it’s a pre-requisite you have no business being in mediation yet, maybe consider discussing with the mediator what can be requested as part of the agreed bundle for a mediation then if the documents you need/want aren’t there as part of the process you can agree what parts of any deal you are willing to discuss and what is going to be left to another date, sometimes delay is a necessary evil.

Ricardo Ellis was accused of attacking another man with a machete when the victim picked some ackee fruit of a tree Ellis had chopped down.

Originally the accused was due to stand trial following the unsatisfactory outcome of a restorative justice programme.

However the judge ordered the parties to try ADR and via mediation an agreement was reached that the victim be paid $150,000 with Ellis paying $10,000 up front the balance is due by the end of the year, with the judge telling the complainant to come straight back if the balance wasn’t paid.

In terms of speed that was a pretty quick case but even then the mediation element was the swiftest way to resolution (note the previous restorative justice element didn’t get anywhere near a settlement or agreement).

Choose to end your dispute quickly maybe not overnight but quicker than court and give me a call.

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. 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

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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