The Mediation Option
Looking back over the course of the last few years, I am struck by how few times I have actually been to Court. Whilst we have had a full case load, very few of these have ended in front of a Judge. This shows how other dispute resolution processes are becoming increasingly accepted and commonplace.
Perhaps the most common ADR process is mediation. This involves employing a professionally trained and neutral mediator. The parties meet on a without prejudice basis and the mediator shuttles back and forth to explore whether a consensus can be found. We have participated in more mediations year on year and have achieved many positive settlements for our clients.
The Courts are actively promoting mediation. It is now common for legal proceedings to be stayed after the exchange of formal Court pleadings for at least one month to give the parties an opportunity to mediate. The fact that a stay is initiated by the Court tends to make parties more amenable to mediation as they can agree to mediation without looking weak.
Mediation is a far more flexible process than litigation. It allows the parties to reach a mutually acceptable compromise as opposed to the ‘winner takes all’ result of a trial. An early settlement brings an obvious saving in time and costs. Overall, we are seeing an increasing number of cases being resolved through mediation rather than at Court.
In summary, mediation is a viable and now commonplace alternative to pursuing a claim without going to trial. For more information, please contact Tollers 01908 306934.