dispute resolution

6 key benefits of mediation

1. Speed

Because mediation can be used early in a dispute, an agreement can usually be reached quicker than if pursuing it through the courts.

You have the services of an impartial, experienced person who can aid your negotiations, and assist in achieving a quick settlement.

If the Mediation is unsuccessful you have neither prejudiced or sacrificed any legal rights, nor have you delayed significantly any ultimate settlement by the legal process.

2. Cost

Generally the cost is greatly reduced in comparison with trying to settle the matter through the courts.

There can be a fee for mediation but the mediation process generally takes much less time and you may be able to avoid or reduce the amount of work and preparation undertaken by your solicitor and avoid paying some court fees.

3. Confidentiality

The mediation proceedings are conducted in private. Some court hearings are held in public.

Mediation remains strictly confidential and only those directly involved in the mediation will know what is discussed, disclosed or agreed in the meetings.

Mediators are bound by a duty of confidentiality unless the circumstances suggest that issues being discussed may pose a risk to clients or the wider community. Such issues include domestic abuse, child protection, money laundering and terrorism.

In all circumstances, care is taken to protect confidentiality and no disclosure will be made without discussing the issues first, unless there is an urgent risk of harm.

Confidentiality in mediation has such importance that in most cases the legal system cannot force a mediator to testify in court the details of the mediation sessions.

4. Control

Mediation increases the control the parties have over the resolution. You are directly involved in negotiating your own agreement and no settlement can be imposed upon you.

In a court case the parties obtain a resolution, but control resides with the judge.

The Mediator may be able to explore alternative solutions that may not have been considered by the parties or are not possible or available through the courts. This can include a commercial solution which is more beneficial for all parties and to preserve an ongoing relationship.

5. Working together

When both sides agree to use mediation it suggests they are prepared to work together towards a solution to their dispute and are willing to consider "moving" their position.

When each party is amenable to understanding the other party's side they can work on the underlying issues to the dispute. It is also more likely to be possible to re-establish a positive relationship between the parties once the dispute is resolved.

As the result is attained by the parties working together and is mutually agreeable then compliance with the agreement is usually high.

This further reduces costs, because there will be no need to employ a solicitor to enforce compliance with the agreement. However, the mediated agreement can be fully enforceable via court action if necessary.

6. Support

Mediators are trained in working with difficult situations.

The mediator acts as a neutral facilitator and guides the parties through the process.

The mediator helps the parties think "outside of the box" for possible solutions to the dispute, broadening the range of possible solutions.

Further reading:

What is Mediation? (Dispute Resolution)

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