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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

New Year New Mediation New Solutions

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 continues to use 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 a new year and as thoughts turn to resolutions why not consider how mediation can help you resolve your disputes? Too blunt for this early in the year? January and into February is often an incredibly busy time for initial calls for me, it not only finds parents realising they missed another Christmas with their children wanting things to change calling in, but it also finds business owners deciding to take the steps needed to either deal with a long outstanding matter or to change how they address their problems.

We’ve got a sale on so where a civil claim for a day would normally be £1200 we’ll knock the price down by 10% during January so there’s even more incentive to give us a call!

In new year mediation news US Bankruptcy judge Robert Drain has ordered the Sackler family and their company, Purdue Pharmacy, and nine states to enter mediation in relation to settlement talks (and ordering them to renegotiate a previous deal which had already been rejected by a previous judge).

Another bankruptcy judge, Shelley Chapman, is conducting the mediation and a tight deadline of the 14th of the month has been set for parties to reach agreement, it sometimes helps to focus the mind to have a deadline.

Essentially the original deal protected the family and company from future claims of fuelling the opioid epidemic, they had agreed to pay $4.5 billion to Purdue’s reorganisation plan which helps reduce reliance on opioid pain killers but the judge had ordered the deal be reviewed and returned to court once a more suitable accommodation has been reached.

Purdue Pharma filed for bankruptcy in 2019 when facing thousands of claims against it for encouraging the reliance of patients on pain killers now sadly recognised as America’s opioid epidemic.

Often in a civil mediation I get asked what to do if the agreement (a contract at law) is breached, my initially suggestion is always to come back to mediation to find out what has happened to mean the parties have departed from an agreement reached after many hours of hard work and open discussion with the mediator.

Ultimately the parties can issue for breach of contract (mediation agreements have the intention to be legally bound, offer, acceptance and generally some form of consideration so the basic ingredients for contract are all present). In Memphis one group has issued proceedings against the City and the River Parks Partnership in relation to how the parking at the Tom Lee Park has been arranged because they say it breaches the mediated settlement reached with the Memphis in May International Festival.

The plaintiffs cite that the changes "The design agreement produced as a result of the 2019 mediation cannot be scrapped and disregarded. The improvements to be constructed at Tom Lee Park are in substantial non-compliance with the requirements of the mediation agreement".

The reduction of the number of parking spaces is significant down to 68 from 130, so it’s not a question of a couple of spaces not quite fitting once all the planting had been done, so it’s understandable that those with an interest in ensuring enough parking is available (presumably one of the issues during the mediation) have taken issue with the implementation in breach of the agreement), I’d still have suggested a return to the mediation table rather than issuing immediately but perhaps they’ll get round to that now we’re in the new year.

Just in case you weren’t aware the new year also brings with it the Family Mediation Awareness Week, so now you are aware.

I get no kick-back from mentioning that Leeds solicitors’ practice Clarion are throwing their all into promoting the FMC’s annual awareness week by hosting a number of events, some even in person which given the current pandemic is a refreshing change albeit the numbers will no doubt be limited for safety.

A full list of the FMC’s events can be found here I’m hosting and presenting none this year but I’ll be in attendance remotely to touch base and as ever continue to expand my own knowledge of mediation practices and developments.

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.

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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