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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

Mediation, the best hope for peace

With the continued backlog of cases mediation is now more than ever the best choice to find a resolution for your dispute. Get your dispute resolved now so 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.


Whilst I bang on every week about the benefits of mediation research from Ireland shows that mediation is still underused. Law firm Mason Hayes & Curran carried out research in relation to the use of mediation in employment disputes, 60% of firms that had carried out employment investigations did not use mediation. That means in employment investigation cases more than half did not use mediation.


Employment disputes lend themselves to mediation as there is often an underlying issue that needs addressing whereas simply dealing with the symptom bakes in problems for the future. Often the parties want (and need) an ongoing relationship. In matters I’ve assisted with we have ended up reporting to the employer on either fundamental failings in their own procedures or more serious issues they were not aware of which only came out because of the way mediations are conducted.


It's interesting to see how many only conduct internal investigations rather than using external, truly independent, help either with mediators or independent companies. Often (and I speak having been both sides of the fence) the employee won’t feel HR is anything other than the employer’s agent, which of course they are.


If you have an employment issue and would like to discuss how mediation can help give me a call!


While the war in Ukraine is overshadowed by developments in the middle east Qatar has announced they have successfully mediated the return of four Ukrainian children from Russia. It is hoped this is the start of further repatriations.


It’s a sign that humanitarian efforts can work even in the darkest times, which as I watch the news today coming out of Gaza is heartening.


In family mediation news as I mentioned last week Joe Jonas (no idea) and Sophie Turner (not just Sansa Stark) have been in mediation following their separation and have now reached agreement on a number of issues and intend to resolve the rest through mediation.


This has led to Joe applying to dismiss the case, over here obviously we would simply stay the case while talks concluded then file consent orders as necessary and follow the divorce through to the final order, things that side of the pond are a little different.


With kids growing up and sharing time on both sides of the pond there will always be practical difficulties, whilst most parents I work with don’t live quite so far apart distance is always an issue, and keeping lines of communication open is vital. I’ve seen many cases at court where the problem has started with late pick up or return and escalated. Rarely is the fact of late arrival the issue it’s more often than not the implied disrespect or impact on trust, communication goes a long way to easing that issue, though it’s difficult to predict traffic and train problems letting the other parent know there are problems out of your hands helps reduce the stress on all parties.


Back in employment mediation the CEO of Qantas has been ordered into mediation (yeah when we say it’s voluntary there are definite shades of grey in that element of mediation).


Venessa Hudson, the CEO, is having to attend on behalf of the company following a ruling in 2021 that Qantas outsourcing of works was in breach of the Fair Work Act and was in essence done to avoid any strike action being possible.


Qantas now faces a penalty claim for the use of the 1700 outside workers and the damages will run into several million dollars. The Transport Workers’ Union accepted mediation as the bets way forward given the years the litigation has already taken. The high court has already found against Qantas for laying off staff in 2020 so the Airline needs to find a negotiated settlement to avoid even further delay and cost.


The three pillars of mediation remain it’s voluntary (at the moment), 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 ed.johnson@northwestmediation.co.uk

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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