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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

Neighbours, delays, mediation pays

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.

Ten weeks for a passport to come back! It seems an horrendous amount of time, but as with all elements of HM Government covid has had a huge impact and before that ten years of austerity cutting (corners) jobs and reducing staff in the name of streamlining without actually following up or investing in the technology (or reviewing its applicability in the case of the probate online service).

If you think ten weeks is a bad delay witness a case I am still working on where an application was lodged in December, the hearing date is October. I can’t even begin to look at the stats for the criminal courts.

So massive delays will slow your case down, good news – unlike what Blur said there is another way – mediation remains accessible, affordable, and speedy. Not overnight it’s not a miracle cure, but it is more likely to get you resolution or closer to resolution than sitting around waiting and stressing over court delays.

And if you need more reason have a look at this lovely outcome for a couple who disputed the boundary with their neighbour, eleven years of a dispute in this case.

“we were suckered into” the case says the couple (Denise and Phillip of Benfleet – sorry I should go full tabloid when quoting the Mirror and add their names but that seems overkill). Having been “certain” they’d win they didn’t and ended up re-mortgaging to fund the appeal that they now feel they have to pursue.

They really don’t in every dispute there is a choice, in this one they did try to mediate in fact what it sounds like they did was agree to use a surveyor to determine the dividing line not mediate, but the problem remained because (as with any win lose scenario) one arty was unhappy with the line drawn and refused to agree to it.

You don’t need to go to court, you don’t need to spend tens of thousands you do need to speak to your neighbours and will continue to have dealings with them for many years to come (unless you die or move) so come for proper mediation not a determination of the rights and wrongs but an exploration of what can be agreed and not foisted on you by a third party.

Six inches nearly £10,000 per inch of land, lives ruined, years of life chucked away really was it worth it? In (nearly) the words of Bastille “are you having fun yet?”

In more neighbourhood mediation news in Camden (my old stomping ground of a Saturday) the council is engaging with neighbours in dispute to help intercultural understanding by use of mediation techniques and meetings.

If you’ve watched Derry Girls season two you’ll know the concept of getting disparate communities together to assist each’s understanding of the other, and often that’s the basis of a mediation.

Though perhaps unlike that trip Camden’s is rather more successful at finding cohesion.

To that end the council has a Cohesion Impact Group to lead the way and work with people of all socio-economic, ethnic and political backgrounds.

And if you think it’ll never work “they” have all the money and power then think again, mediation will help you work on an unbiased even level with any other party as here where Outer Aisle Gourmet took on the mighty Bimbo Bakeries.

The dispute started when Outer Aisle discovered their cauliflower sandwich thins (I know I had literally no idea what these were until now and assumed this was a random word generator trying to tempt me off my diet) had been delisted by Amazon at the request of Bimbo (look to an American reader this may be as common as Warburtons but to me it’s like suggesting Buffy the Vampire Slayer took a left at Sunnydale and went into baking instead of staking).

As mediation has at its heart confidentiality the actual settlement is unknown but it has been reached and the claim and counterclaims have now all been resolved.

The three pillars of mediation remain it’s voluntary, 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 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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