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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

Something Southgate, Something, Football, something mediation

Because I'm intrigued to know if anyone reads the blog other than google crawlers

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.

This week’s blog stars with an article from Ling Ong president of the London Branch of FOIL (Forum of Insurance Lawyers) and partner at Weightmans solicitors.

It’s interesting to read a piece by a lawyer who recognises how at the international level the pandemic has been a force for change in the way in which both trials and mediation are conducted.

She identifies that in remote mediation parties can carry on with other matters and being available only when needed, that cuts both ways as whilst this may suit a busy client part of the reason for mediation is to get the parties to focus on the issue at hand, but if there are multi-parties and multi days involved then it certainly can be a benefit not to have to have everyone travel to one location for a block of time.

I do like Ling’s confirmation that lawyers need to be prepared for the mediation and to prepare their clients. Often clients still don’t have a lot of idea about what mediation will be like, but if they are honest most have no idea what court looks like (other than what they see on TV – my comments about TV court rooms are found elsewhere and not re-printable, suffice to say no one has a hammer, ever).

She, like Northwest Mediation, has found the failing in technology that many feared to have been in vast majority of cases unfounded – yes the microwave did interrupt the signal and occasionally clients haven’t had the best link but in most civil cases the parties have attended with their lawyer (they didn’t need to) and so used their lawyer’s wifi from the office while social distancing within a conference room.

Her sign off that lawyers should not expect a return to the old ways is echoed by my previous blogs that the genie is out the bottle and is not going back in.

In Topeka (Kansas) it’s the police and fire department who are looking for mediation over their terms and conditions with city manager Brent Trout hopeful that talks will bear fruit with an independent third party.

Having seen previous mediation success Brent is keen to find a resolution “We’re trying to find what we think is a fair rate for reimbursement for pay for them and what the City can afford…The expenses that we have continue going up and so we have to look at that and balance whether or not and what type of increase in salary we can afford.”

It will be a difficult balancing act but with the help of a mediator the parties will be able to appreciate what can be achieved and what is beyond the scope of the city’s finances or below the first responders’ tolerance.

Fascinating article dealing with the supply chain, human rights abuses and how mediation helped throughout from Elise Groulx Diggs.

She describes how she set about laying down the framework for the parties (including NGOs, Law firms, supply chain workers and high level executives) as to how the mediation would be conducted, that no one would be coerced into settlement (a concern for some junior lawyers who worried they would be made to look weak to their senior partners).

Explaining that you want to help parties find solutions that deal with the causes of the issues rather than just the problems which have arisen, dealing with the cause not merely the symptoms. That’s a point missed in many negotiations (as opposed to mediations).

By dealing with the parties in this way (and keeping all matters confidential) Elise was able to obtain acknowledgments of wrongs done, apologies and changes in working practice. It’s an outstanding piece of work.

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 the tunnel and see the light. 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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