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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

Light at the end of the tunnel

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.

As I write this the Pfizer vaccination has been authorised for use and roll out next week, it’s been a few days since I was told by former colleagues that this was coming (and indeed if you live near certain football stadia you will have seen the preparations for mass vaccinations over the last couple of weeks while the last “t”s were crossed and “i”s dotted before this morning’s announcement.

It’s a light at the end of the tunnel, the same kind of light we get mediation clients to focus on in session, if you consider how Covid lockdowns have made you feel being involved in a long running claim or dispute can feel very similar and being offered a chance to get out the other end of the tunnel is what mediation can be.

And it’s with a view to helping prisoners of war held in Azerbaijan to see the light of freedom that President Armen Sarkissian of Armenia has asked Vladimir Putin to assist in mediation talks.

I’m not a fan of Russia’s self styled strongman leader but in international political mediations it often takes someone with the kind of influence and clout as Putin to get parties to the table.

Sarkissian on a visit to the Russian capital said he and the Armenian government were “deeply concerned over the situation around the soldiers and civilians who have appeared in Azerbaijani captivity, and that the Russian President’s mediation would be a great support in the resolution of the extremely delicate issue of returning our troops and civilians, as well as the bodies of those killed, who are currently held by Azerbaijan.”

Compare with the position the US has had in relation to discussions across the DMZ on the Korean peninsula, previously defeated and dejected Trump had tried his bizarre tactic of cozying up to his fellow wannabe dictator in North Korea and by turns threatening all out nuclear war.

With the new Biden administration acting as mediator there will undoubtedly be a shift in style, and perhaps there will be actual progress as opposed to braggadocious claims of progress.

With New Year approaching and good news on the vaccination front many people will be looking to resolve their old differences and disputes, perhaps taking the step to separate or reconnect with family so it’s no surprise that family mediation is on the rise both for finance and child contact arrangements.

And in this Canadian article J J Paquette acknowledges the risk of a spike in divorce rates at the end of Covid as people similarly take stock, I can’t help thinking that the new year coinciding with the roll out of the vaccine will double the impact.

JJ discusses that sometimes it is the manner in which parents have dealt with the Covid restrictions and fears that cause the differences, some parents after Covid may find they are back on an even keel many will not make it that far.

Northwest Mediation has seen parents in mediation who were already separated having their issues compounded by difference in parenting style including how they approach the risks of Covid, where there is a perception that one parent is overly protective or reckless and finding the balance between legal restrictions, guidance and “common sense” is not easy but in all the cases I’ve dealt with during lockdown the parents have (with mediator guidance) come out the other side with agreement, sometimes it takes a few small steps other times it can happen just by the parents being able to express their concerns to each other in the safe space of a zoom 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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