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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

Only a very small mention of Algo-Shambles

Mediation disputes and the clients who bring them to us do not fit into boxes, much like exam results there isn't an algorithm that will work out your mediation for you. A mediator engages with you on a personal level and looks in detail at your issues, your history your needs and desires and works with you.

There are now some computer based mediation packages which seek to resolve your dispute by working through a set of questions and produces set answers, but mediation should not and cannot be so constrained if it is to work properly.

So when you come to Northwest Mediation we will work with you, not the version of you the computer thinks you should be or most closely resemble, in the words of Brian from Monty Python's irreverent take on the life of Jesus and organised religion in general "You're all individuals".

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.

As you will gather our thoughts have been with children lots this week, mainly because of the A level and GCSE algo-shambles debacle in the UK but also due to the p-poor treatment of bar students.

Over in Florida the ongoing dispute between the Florida Governor's office and the Florida Education Association is heading to mediation to try and resolve the parties’ differences.

Richard Corcoran the education commissioner described the union’s case as “frivolous” but the judge in the case, Charles Dodson, has urged the parties to find common ground “this is a case that cries out for the parties to come together” he said while denying the strike out application made by the Governor’s office and ordered the mediation to proceed. There was then a bit of a twitter-spat between the two sides reaffirming how right their respective view points were.

It’s often the case that parties to a mediation come entrenched that their view and only their view is the right one, and that their solution is the only way forward, sometime lawyers have strengthened the client’s stance others (better ones) have discussed the possible variations with the clients and they come prepared to listen. In the end most mediation clients get a resolution that both sides can live with, and more importantly move forward from.

The Straits Times reports that a dispute between architect and developer in an Association of South East Asian country have been battling for many years but when they turned to mediation the case settled in a day.

The developer had accused the architect of breaches of contract and so terminated the relationship, the resulting claim and counterclaims were bitter but when they eventually turned to mediation they were quickly able to establish a settlement that suited both their positions.

Chief executive of the Singapore International Mediation Centre Chuan Wee Meng said the case was more evidence of the growing use and utility of mediation practices:-

"The turning point came when it became clear that the dispute was not merely about financial compensation - there was an issue of professional recognition as well…We believe that mediation is a time-and cost-efficient means of resolving disputes while preserving commercial relationships. This is especially important during this challenging period…This is why we launched the SIMC Covid-19 Protocol, which provides an economical, efficient and effective way for parties to resolve their disputes during this period."

Having developed a Covid-19 response package Chuan Wee Meng explained "We work with our mediators and stakeholders to provide reduced and fixed rates so that parties can resolve their conflicts outside of court through mediation. This is our way of contributing to the business community during this pandemic"

Showing that by use of mediation an ongoing relationship can rise like a phoenix from the ashes of potential disaster he went on to add "The last thing I heard was the developer saying to the architect, 'See you next week. We will take you to the site to show you the building.' Apparently, the architect had not stepped foot onto this award-winning development.

"To me, this is what mediation is about: to achieve a beautiful reconciliation to a seemingly intractable problem by addressing what is truly important to the parties."

And whilst mediation continues to grow in civil and commercial field it remains as strong as ever in what is still seen as its traditional role in family mediation.

As shown here in Australia Sue-Anna Heath Catholic-Care family relationships advisor and intake co-ordinator said they had seen a 20% uptick in inquiries since the start of the pandemic.

Cracks in relationships are often exposed when pressure is on, and living on top of each other for months at a time is not necessarily conducive to harmonious living, even in stable relationships parties find themselves in need of time apart, space and time to breath and (in my case) just an hour when no one else is in working from home, online gaming, House Partying, zoom calling or shouting at what Gavin Williamson has cocked up this time.

In fact so crucial has mediation become that in India that the Bar Council of India has made it a requirement for all law schools to teach the skills of mediation as part of both the three and five year foundation courses for all lawyers.

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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