New Year’s Resolution: Now’s the time for Mediation
Anthony Vines gives you some reasons why anyone in a dispute (including advisers) should be trying mediation now.
Applicability – Most disputes can benefit from a voluntary mediated settlement whether fixing a business dispute, sorting a current workplace issue or resolving a longer term family matter.
Consensual motivation – All involved will have the seasonal motivation to make an agreement and move on: that openness to resolve may recede as the year goes on and costs increase.
Affordability – The timing, duration and cost of a mediation is controlled.
Choice of outcome – Since it is a voluntary process, you need not accept the deal offered and you can put forward a proposal closer to your interests. As you choose to accept the outcome, you may be saved the binary “triumph/disaster” result which may follow on after the sapping of financial and emotional resources through the provision of evidence with an imposed solution of findings (perhaps including costs orders).
COVID-19 – With the current additional uncertainty as well as other pressures in our lives, others will react well to the suggestion of progress, and technology can assist in enabling meetings to take place. Meetings can also take place at a neutral venue with parties adopting agreed safety measures.
Breadth of solution - You can resolve issues including highly personal matters or ongoing relationships which fall outside the usual remit of a court or tribunal process and thereby achieve a valuable improvement in current circumstances.
Personal investment – Parties indicating a willingness safely to congregate increase positive momentum and show significant personal stake in seeking to achieve a resolution. Individuals can introduce practical, constructive and imaginative proposals for resolution.
Avoiding the alternative – Formal processes, whether Courts, tribunals or other mechanisms, are all performing “differently” from usual.
Future uncertainty – Where we shall be in 6 months with tiers, alerts, variants and vaccines as well as Brexit is unclear, whilst the dispute may yet remain unresolved with mediation untested.
Personal presence – Even if you decide to have the mediation at a neutral and safe venue, you can still choose not to face the other party in person and technology can as required provide links with experts or other individuals.
Easy to start – It is not the difficult “grasping the nettle”: it is merely you looking to move your issue constructively towards resolution.
If you do have an issue for mediation, what do you do next?
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org headed “Mediation” with a very brief summary of the issue in dispute (say 20 words), the names and contact details of the parties involved and of any legal representatives. One of Anthony’s clerks will get back in touch with you.