Why Mediate

The Mediation Process

The process - narrowing the gap

The process is non-binding in that if you fail to agree, there will be no immediate resolution of the dispute and the dispute will likely proceed to litigation. However, should you come to a settlement; the agreed terms set out in a 'Settlement Agreement' will become an enforceable contract.

Pre-mediation documentation

The Mediation process can be initiated by yourself or both parties. However, both parties in dispute will need to confirm their acceptance of the following documents prior to starting the process.

You will need to gather your information and documents and will need to send summary details of the dispute to the mediator at least 10 working days prior to the day of mediation, unless otherwise agreed.

In addition parties may have a pre-mediation meeting with the mediator to ensure that the nature of the dispute is fully understood. This may be conducted at our offices or by phone.

Prior to the day of mediation both parties in dispute will be required to sign a 'Mediation Agreement' which shall clearly identify the scope and responsibilities of those going to mediation regarding:

mediation procedures mediation termination or cancellation
place & time of mediation exclusion of liability
mediation fees, expenses, costs, & payment schedule
human rights
notice of legal advice law & jurisdiction
privacy statement stay of proceedings
confidentiality & without prejudice Signatures

The Mediation Day

Our facility

Mediations normally take place at our centrally located modern, high quality offices where a suite of 3 rooms and rest area will be available for the duration of the meeting. Our facility has ample parking and is available 24/7. The accommodation also has full business facilities such as Wi-Fi, photocopying and fax. Each party in the dispute will have its own meeting room to ensure confidentiality and the mediator will move between these rooms throughout the mediation. Light refreshments will be provided by The Dispute Mediation Consultancy. The ability to provide such accommodation is a key element in trying to keep overall costs down compared with externally resourced accommodation such as an hotel conference facility.

Where parties agree to not use our facility then additional charges may apply.

Mediation

You must come to mediation with the power to settle and also be prepared to negotiate. All parties will have agreed by signing up to the Mediation Agreement, to come to the mediation with the desire to settle their dispute.

The mediation process is both 'without prejudice' and is absolutely confidential. This gives the benefit that you can represent yourself at mediation, (although you can take along a legal representative if you desire). The mediation process is less formal than a Court and you are free to participate by expressing views, disclosing information and offering concessions knowing that settlement will only be reached with your full agreement. This is importantly, in significant variance to Court imposed settlements where you would lose control of any outcome, which may or may not be in your favour.

Whilst parties are free to decide their fate, in that they can refuse offers and even walk out of proceedings. You can proceed knowing, that should mediation fail, you are unlikely to be penalised (subject to the grounds of unreasonable behaviour) by any future Court action.

Legal representation & costs

Lawyers and agents are not usually involved in the day of mediation but you may have them attend with you if that is preferred. It may be advisable for you to consult a lawyer about your legal rights before attending.

Disputes generate a lot of personal emotion. Often disputes simmer and build over a long period during which time parties tend to lose perspective and objectivity. As a result, cases taken to litigation can spiral out of control in both time and legal costs. This can easily result in final expenses far exceeding the real value of the dispute.

You should therefore focus on managing a settlement in a manner that will be acceptable to both sides and without expending disproportionate sums of money in legal costs.

Both the DMC administration fee (payable on application) and the mediator's fee are notified to the party well in advance of the mediation day by means of a Letter of Appointment; with the total cost being usually split 50/50 between the parties. Payment is due prior to the mediation taking place. Further details can be found on our "Fees' pages.

Late payment of fees

The Dispute Mediation Consultancy reserve the right to charge interest on late payment of invoices compounded quarterly from the due date of payment accruing daily at the statutory rate being Bank of England base rate plus 8%.

Settlement Agreements

In well over 90% of disputes taken to mediation with DMC (Average 3 year figure), can be expected to result in a coming together of the parties which helps to heal previously fragmented relationships. The mediator if requested will ensure that any final settlement agreement will be workable, covers all the issues relating to the dispute, and importantly is enforceable. Mediators however do not give legal advice but this can be sought from your legal advisor on the day if necessary.

Any settlement agreement will outline in sufficient detail the intentions of the parties and in a manner which can be understood clearly by an impartial reader. It will contain some or all of the following: detail of the actions required, payments to be made - amounts and timescale, provisions for costs, public statements, confidentiality clause, discontinuance or withdrawal of any proceedings, and details on enforceability. Finally, a settlement on the mediation day (or shortly thereafter) will always result in a settlement agreement signed by each party who has the authority to settle.

DMC Consultancy

DMC offer in addition to mediation services, a consultancy service to assist in drafting settlement agreements or interpreting the scope of an existing settlement agreement, please contact us if you require further information.

DMC logo white  For further information as to why you should consider the mediation process, please click on the menu on the left.

or contact us for more information and guidance

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What if we do not settle?

Mediation has been successful for many people but it does not work for everyone. If you are not able to reach a settlement in mediation, your case can still proceed to trial should this be desired and your action in going to mediation is likely to be looked upon favourably by the Court and certainly prevent award of adverse costs. In addition you are likely to have saved significant time and hence legal costs as the true issues in the dispute will have been defined at mediation, which allows the Court action to be more focussed.

Dispute Mediation

Mediation is a practical yet sophisticated process designed to address the real issues and obstacles behind conflict in reaching a commercially viable solution.

Why mediate?   >

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