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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

From WAGs to Switches - 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 uses 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.

While most of the world expands the use of mediation there’s been an odd step backwards with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) who had initially extended its pilot mediation scheme to additional areas of complaint but has now ended the pilot entirely.

The EEOC says it will keep some of the practices in place, including the option to mediate at any stage, but is going back to the limited types of case in which mediation can be used.

The new chair of the EEOC Charlotte A Burrows has been a critic of the pilot scheme so it should come as no surprise that although she supports early resolution she isn’t a fan of expanding the process to all areas of complaint.

Burrows was initially nominated by President Obama and has now been put in place by President Biden, a lawyer by background she said that she “strongly support the prompt and voluntary resolution of discrimination charges whenever doing so is consistent with our mission….The Commission will continue to strengthen its conciliation and mediation programs in accordance with the overarching goal of preventing and remedying discrimination in the workplace” which seems at odds with the move to narrow the cases which can now be dealt with in mediation.

Meanwhile on the world stage Mohammad Javad Zarif Iranian foreign minister has said that the EUs foreign policy chief Josep Borrell is capable of “choreographing” the relations between Iran and the US. No doubt the change in US leadership will also help to ease tensions and mediate a workable way forward for both parties to return to the nuclear deal of 2015 which ex-president and alleged criminal DJT withdrew from in a typical ill thought out show of “power”.

There remains an element of the US and Iran waiting to see who blinks first with Biden saying the US will return to the deal once Iran shows strict compliance and Iran wanting the US to take the first step.

In a mediation the first move is often difficult to make but it is the start of reaching an agreement, it should never ben seen as a sign of weakness, nor should it necessarily be viewed as a move empowering the party making the move, it’s simply the start and an acceptance that someone has to move first if the process is to resolve anything.

In Marshall, Texas IT giants Huawei and Verizon have now agreed to take their dispute over telecommunication patents to mediation, billed as a “private mediation”, odd term they’re all confidential that is rather the point of mediation, the dispute relates to twelve breaches of patent (including nexus and catalyst switches) which China based Huawei has brought against US based Verizon.

Huawei has had something of a difficult time recently with the US market (and by knock on the UK market where they were stopped from further involvement in the 5G network following pressure from the US). The agreement to mediate rather than litigate may be seen in the wider context of China testing the waters with the new US administration, with perhaps a softer more reasoned approach being expected from the new tenant at the White House whose international standing and experience is far greater than his predecessor’s.

At the other end of the scale “warring WAGs” Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy are heading into mediation this week, those of you with an interest in twitter spats who read red top papers might not need the explanation I did as to “who” and the “what” but apparently it’s Vardy suing Rooney for libel after Rooney alleged that she “leaked” private information about her to the press.

It seems to me that it will be hard to show a duty of privacy breached by a “friend” by sending information from one party’s private Instagram account to the press let alone working out the damages for what is essentially gossip. Although I appreciate the invasion of privacy suffered will have caused hurt does the allegation that you talked about a former friend behind her back to the press really carry damages? I’m not sure it’s anything other than a publicity stunt on both sides, and frankly in the week when we lost Captain Sir Tom Moore have we not got better things to think about? But maybe it’s the Captain’s example that we should look to, looking to tomorrow being a better day is after all one of the tenets of mediation.

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 the tunnel and see the light. 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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