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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

Mediation - Review of the Year

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.

It’s review of the year time (well sort of). With great leaps forward in online mediation (necessity giving birth to yet more invention) are we looking at a greater willingness to work together for the common good or will we all come out of 2020 being more insular, blocking more borders, whistling nationalist or localist dog whistles? Let’s expect the latter but hope and plan and assist others in achieving the former.

I’m not the only one wondering with this piece from Dechert LLP on international mediation progress, looking at what has been done in terms of the Singapore Convention (Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation), so far only 6 countries have actually ratified the convention but that was six more than this time last year and the signs are that other countries will follow suit if not this specific set of rules by adopting new ones.

Where will the UK go in terms of mediation now? Previously governed by the EU articles requiring mediation will new requirements be adopted as we step into the brave (or myopic) new world of independence in a world where we are one of the smaller players?

The article goes on to compare the difference between mediation and international arbitration upon which conventions have been adopted in 166 countries, arbitration bringing a more enforceable decision than mediation which seeks to find agreement between parties.

But the tone is hopeful, and reflect Northwest Mediation’s experience this year that more mediation is happening and more clients are avoiding the cost and delay of court proceedings.

Meanwhile continuing efforts for mediation exist in the city of Lorain with is police chief Jim McCann.

McCann suddenly stopped officers performing secondary work in the summer which in turn is seen as a reaction from officers not volunteering to work on Independence Day, the employment union has determined there is “probable cause” for a claim against McCann for unfair labour (labor) practice.

Kyle Gelenius the president of the union and Mayor Jack Bradley agreed that the parties were continuing in mediation with a view to reaching an agreeable way forward.

It’s been a symptom of the Covid pandemic that people have taken knee jerk decisions (and yes I mean from Her Majesty’s Government downwards) without real thought for consequence or imagination of the impact one decision will have or how people will react, perhaps Chief McCann fell into this trap as well? Whatever his reasons mediation is more than likely to find a solution.

For many one of the glimmers of light in an otherwise dark year has been the BBC’s annual glitter and spray tan fiesta that is Strictly Come Dancing, and this isn’t just a chance for me to say I saw Bill Bailey in 1991 at the Comedy Store, but to note the news that this week one of the dancer’s in the US version of Strictly, Dancing with the Stars, is himself heading to mediation. Following the filing of divorce papers for dancer, choreographer, and model Gleb Savchenko and his wife Elena Samodanova, who is herself a judge on So You Think You Can Dance and DWTS (at least so Google tells me) the couple have been ordered to attend mediation.

As with many mediaitons arising from a family separation the initial interest for the parties and the court is the wellbeing of the couple’s children, Olivia and Zlata and this being the US the court has already ordered them into mediation to discuss visitation and come up with a parenting plan.

Another considered piece here about why early mediation can sometimes not get a result and what are some of the pitfalls to avoid. Regular readers (really who are you?) will know Northwest Mediation believes that it’s never too early to mediate, but there are limits on what can be achieved in some mediaitons if for instance documents haven’t been disclosed which are needed for the parties to understand each other’s point of view. It’s not always a complete block to mediation to not have documents, you can and we do work on trust and work with parties to regain and re-establish trust between them and us to find mutually acceptable ways forward. But sometimes there is a need to call a halt to the mediation, take a breath, get some further information and then head back in with more informed parties.

Finally we go back to where we started probate mediation.

With this piece from Margaret Macaulay in the Jamaican observer dealing with an inquiry from a person with a will dispute.

Inheritance disputes are always interesting for Northwest Mediation, we have a good record at helping parties find a solution, whether it’s to do with the handling of the estate money, a property or the appointment of appropriate personal representatives (or indeed challenges to estates for dependant partners and children, adult and minors).

There are not easy matters to mediate, they take time, effort and considerable energy, but we find that we can help in almost every case and invite solicitors or individuals who have an issue with a probate, and inheritance or a will to contact us for help.

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. 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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