Mediation is a voluntary process in which the parties involved in a dispute meet on a “without prejudice” basis. This means that everything discussed during mediation is confidential, and cannot be used in future litigation proceedings. The parties appoint a mediator, whose role is to help them find a solution for both parties. Their role is impartial and not judgemental.
The courts today encourage parties to mediate. Early mediation after a dispute has started can save legal costs and allow more control over decisions reached.
What it costs
The cost of mediation depends on the amount you are claiming:
For a claim of £5000 or less the fee is £50 per hour
For a claim of £5000 to £15,000, the fee is £300 for 3 hours
a claim of £15,000 - £50,000 the fee is *£425 for 4 hours
*These fees are per party
** If the claim is for more than £50,000, the fees will need to be agreed in advance
WHY MEDIATE ?
By agreeing to mediate, the parties involved in the dispute agree:
1) to appoint a mediator who will oversee the process
2) to punctually attend the mediation sessions booked
3) that the mediation will be confidential
4) that the documents produced and what is said at the mediation cannot be used should litigation arise in the future
5) that the parties attend the mediation on a voluntary basis and can leave the mediation at any time
6) that nothing is binding until the settlement agreement is signed by the parties to the dispute at the end of the mediation proceedings
Our role as mediator is to help both parties resolve their dispute. We do not act as a judge nor do we take sides. We give both parties an equal chance to discuss their sides of the case.
Our experience is that 70% of mediations result in a settlement, and as such is your best opportunity to resolve your dispute with the maximum amount of control.
ABOUT MEDIATION (Summary t&c)
Civil Mediation Case Studies
Case Study One
A newly married couple appoint a builder to undertake some work for them on their new home He provides them with an estimate which is reasonable and they agree to accept his quotation to undertake the work. They agree to pay 50% of the fee before he starts work. The work takes longer than expected and cost more. The work in completed 3 months late and after completion they find that a part of the work is not only is not up to a reasonable standard but is defective and does not meet current building requirements. The young couple ask the builder to correct the situation which he says he will but after 6 month the work is still defective. They have to live with this defective work and as each day goes by they become more annoyed with the builder. To move matter forward they appoint a solicitor who writes to the tradesman setting out their case and seeking damages. The correspondence continues for a year. Their legal costs grow. They do not communicate with the tradesman as they do not wish to prejudice their case. In the meantime the trade man accepts that he made a mistake when he undertook the work and cannot sleep worrying about how is he going to pay for the damages as he does not have any equity in the house he owns and all his income is spent on the mortgage and running his home. His wife is expecting twins. At the moment he is so busy with his current work does not have time to think about the case.
Mediation solution. . Once the 2 parties are set on dealing with the matter through the courts, there is little opportunity for the parties to meet and work out together the best outcome for both parties .Mediation provides such an opportunity
Case Study Two
A British business man meets a friend at an overseas conference. The friend owns a speed boat that he wants to sell. The friends agree a price, 50% to be paid before delivery 50 % on delivery. Before final delivery the seller contacts the buyer to arrange a delivery date and final settlement details, during this discussions it is realised that the seller believed that Vat was payable in addition to the agreed price (as this is normal practice in the type of transaction) but the buyer insists that the price was VAT inclusive. The VAT is a substantial amount .The seller refuses to deliver the boat. The business man starts an action against his friend to return the 50% deposit he has paid being £50,000. The disputed VAT is £ 15,000. Both parties appoint solicitors and after 6 months each have incurred £8,000 in legal costs. Trial will take place in 3 months with both parties spending £20,000 in legal costs. The case could go either way based on the evidence.
Mediation Solution There are again many possible ways in which a settlement could be achieved in this case but clearly a mediation meeting held early on in the proceeding would have saved both parties substantial costs
Case Study Three
A surveyor undertakes valuation work for 2 businessmen on a number of properties. The businessmen have not settled the surveyors invoice 6 months after it was first presented. The Surveyor starts an action against the 2 businessman in person. The businessman says that the surveyor contracted with a limited company which is now in liquidation.
The businessmen do not want bad publicity that may arise from this case as they are involved in a number of other transactions and bad publicity could affect these transactions
Mediation solution: Gives the parties a chance to discuss the possible outcomes of a case and resolve matter confidentially