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.
No theme this week as I’m having to bash this out fairly swiftly whilst working round carpet fitters! If anything that means it’s mediator mediate thyself time (how many cups of tea do you need to fit a stair and room carpet for goodness sake, fine yes and biscuits, we haven’t had biscuits in the house since I gave up carbs, fine I’ll pop to the shop).
Sarah Hunt, senior counsel at Farrer & Co writes compellingly this week on the need for increased use of mediation. You may not be aware the rules changed slightly on MIAMs on 1/10/22 but that was intended to ensure that we, as mediators, continue are fantastic job. Sadly the impetus for people to attend hasn’t changed. Yes the voucher scheme continues but it has its own problems (not being available to all mediators who are training and therefore reducing the numbers of potential mediators coming through the process) but it’s not enough, the press rightly dealing with other matters rarely notices the backlog in civil courts.
Sarah correctly addresses the “difficult” cases myth, difficult cases are the bread and butter of mediation, there will always be cases that are not suitable for mediation but being tricky is not one of them. I say the same in civil mediations, having dealt with hundreds of tricky litigation cases over the years in mediation they still boil down to a question of working out real wants and needs and then reality checking what a realistic settlement looks like, yes there may be tricky technical issues to address and understand (which is why we ask lots of questions!) but in the end litigation is humans arguing with other humans (at least until Meta takes over entirely) and it’s humans in the form of mediators that can help the parties find the solutions.
The merger causes competition and monopoly issues and the competition commissioner Matthew Boswell has been arguing against it happening. Shaw have offered to sell off their mobile network Freedom in order to appease the commissioner’s concerns but that has been insufficient and the parties are now being sent to mediation to work out a deal that will work for all those involved and not adversely impact on the market place.
The two companies have consistently argued that the merger will improve customer services and will have a positive impact for users of the technology but the commissioner remains unconvinced, now a ruling form the tribunal has directed the parties into mediation with an expectation that a deal will end the lengthy process which was expected to have originally concluded by early 2022.
Be flexible - yes I do say this every week about mediation so good to know I’m not the only one who thinks one of the key aspects of mediation as opposed to litigation is the flexibility of the process.
Nip it in the bud – dealing with issues early saves problems later, it’s the stitch in time rule of mediation, the longer the problem has been ongoing the longer the solution will take to reach, true in pretty much every aspect of mediation not just employment disputes.
Consider all perspectives – the article says each parties’ perspective but I think you have to go wider and consider other perspectives with the parties so they can see that there are often many ways of seeing the same problem or situation.
Facilitate open discussions – the whole point of mediation is to get parties talking, the confidential atmosphere should allow this to happen without fear of reprisals, in employment cases that is often the hardest point to establish as an employee will often feel they cannot be open for fear of reprisals
Identify a trusted influencer to mediate – if an employer can find one in their business great, but most employees view HR as an arm of management, so maybe use a mediator (rates very reasonable)
Focus on the dispute – our leaner article writers suggest ensuring the discussions are in an informal setting to encourage the discussion, but not so informal as to let the parties wander off topic
Normalise conflict management – if mediation is baked into your business it will go further, I can send you some examples of wording for the office manual or come and do some training give me a ring
Establish an action plan – ie when you’ve worked out what needs to happen time line it and make sure it does
Be impartial – should go without saying but just in case and to make it up to ten I guess!
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 email@example.com
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