Over the last decade or so most solicitors have changed their “Litigation” departments to “Dispute Resolution” Departments, Kerseys included. This marks the change in emphasis from court action to what we actually do – helping clients resolve their disputes.
One of the most important, and often successful, ways for a dispute to be resolved is mediation.
Mediation is a process where the two, or more, parties attempt, with the help of a trained third party, the mediator, to resolve their differences.
Whilst it has an expense – the cost of the mediator is paid jointly by the parties, and you also need to pay your solicitor to be there to advise you – this will be much less than the costs of a full disputed claim through the courts.
Reaching an agreement at mediation has other advantages:
- You will get a decision quicker than going through the courts
- You have control over the outcome (you have no control over a judge’s decision however good your claim and your representation)
- It is private – and most agreements reached include a confidentiality clause
- You can bring into discussion things which the court cannot – this is particularly helpful if you want to continue a business or trading relationship with your opponent.
Of course before mediation you need some sensible expert advice from your legal advisor – you need to know the merits of your case and which elements are stronger or weaker. You need to know the likely result if you are successful – and the risks if you are not.
Mediation isn’t guaranteed to reach an agreement although in my experience it nearly always does, even in disputes that have seemed intractable beforehand. If it doesn’t work the court option remains open to you.
Mediation is ideal for business disputes as it is quicker, you maintain control and you can preserve your business relationships
If you have a dispute I advise getting early advice on the merits of your position and your options to resolve it before you lose time and money that could be put to better use in your business.Mediation Services Contact Kate Barnes
Article written by Kate Barnes