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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

The growth in mediation

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.

It’s election time which means that those of us members of the FMC have been encouraged to contact all local candidates to push the mediation agenda.  On of my local candidates (for where I live as opposed to where the office is) was seen this week playing giant blue Jenga with Sir Ed Davey, so I was more than happy to drop him an email.  I haven’t bothered to email the other candidates as they won’t be winning, and the outgoing MP has heard plenty from me over the years as she has backed repeatedly disastrous governments and leaders.

As mediation is more on the agenda than ever we find this week that Baroness Car of Walton on the Hill (Lady Chief Justice) calling for a concerted effort by ADR practitioners to ensure London retains its role at the centre of international ADR.  I’ve got news for the deluded London isn’t the centre when it comes to ADR, since Brexit it’s not the centre of much (except Tory corruption and oligarch pay offs).

Worse is putting London at the centre again is another knock to those of us in the ADR community outside the M25, see my previous gripes about all the CMC and FMC meetings taking place in London.

Maybe we should do one up here…watch this space.

Sorry it’s very Gazette heavy this week but it’s important to note that when mediation is not used as in the case of Conway v Conway & another ( HHJ Mithani KC reduced the WINNING party’s costs by 25% (in addition to other reductions) for failure to mediate.

That’s (as they used to say) pour encourager les autres to bloody well mediate!

There were in this case a pre-issue offer to mediate, a post issue offer and a third offer prior to trial commencement, each time the defendants denied that the case was suitable (how wrong they were).

The judgment reference Northrop v BAE (systems where a similar judgment was made against the “winning” party.

We’ve been saying it for years now, if you do not mediate there are serious costs consequences (and impacting on solicitors’ fees may be the only way to ensure clients get the chance to properly mediate!).

And outside the uk we have another growing area of work, elderly care and mediation.  In this case with a relative who is suffering dementia.

It’s another cross over area between family and civil mediation, it doesn’t need a MIAM because everyone is an adult and it’s not about divorce, it’s care for your parent(s) and disagreements within the family as to how to deal.  In this case it was mum who disagreed with putting dad in a home, she wanted to keep caring for him (both in their 80s) and you can see why, she made a commitment to her husband in sickness and in health and all the guilt that comes with that little phrase when suddenly it's no long “in health” that you’re dealing with.

Delila Bergan’s words ring true in all mediations “We don’t try to make everyone happy and cheerful and loving each other — that’s a job for a therapist. But we can keep them talking and focused on the issues, and keep it calm, without name calling.”

As I said to clients just this week no one walks away happy they’re just happy to walk away.

In a case study this week I found myself helping two clients who had began some distance apart reach agreement, one asked why, when the other party had been so ingrained and immovable for 2 years, they suddenly felt able to make an offer much closer to the sum that could (and was) acceptable. 

I had to remind the client that the main reason was the skills of the mediator (I co-mediated this one so I take not all the credit but quite a lot as I’d worked with both sides for about 4 months).

It is not always a one day job for a mediation but it normally (90% of the time) works out.

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. 

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

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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