Mediation in the UK

Mediation is a way of resolving disputes without going to court. The mediator helps you and the other party discuss your issues, look at the options and try to reach a practical solution that works for you (and, in the case of separated parents, for your children).

Unlike judges, who may be biased towards certain arguments, a mediator will listen to both sides of the story and provide impartial guidance and help. A mediator can save time, money and stress for everyone involved.

The mediator is trained to support you in reaching an agreement, but does not take responsibility for any outcome. The process is confidential and informal, but the mediator will provide an environment in which you can express your views. You will probably have three to five one to two hour mediation sessions with the mediator and you will be asked to come prepared with a clear idea of what you want to achieve.

Mediation can be used in a wide range of disputes, including commercial contracts, employment issues, fraud claims, projects, property, IP and insurance disputes. It is particularly effective in international matters and cases with cross-cultural elements, such as joint ventures and international shareholder disputes.

It is important to find a mediator who you trust and feel comfortable working with. A good mediator will be able to put you at ease, but will also be firm when needed. Some mediators specialise in specific areas, for example, pensions and tax issues, or family law. Others have a broad range of experience, and can mediate on any issue.

A good mediator will understand the importance of confidentiality and will work hard to ensure that all parties feel their concerns are heard. They will also be able to manage complex and multi-party cases, often with limited resources. They will ensure that everyone is made aware of their rights and responsibilities, and that all relevant documents are circulated to the right people.

If you would like more information about mediation, the Ministry of Justice has a helpful factsheet and there are also free information sessions in England and Wales run by local authorities. Advice Now has a helpful guide to the different kinds of mediation available.

‘A top-class communicator and an excellent thinker, Mandy Lenton from CEDR Chambers is always well prepared, and has a calm manner which puts her clients at ease’. Lenton focuses on high-value commercial and workplace disputes, including professional negligence claims against lawyers, accountants and other professionals, as well as group actions with multiple claimants. mediation uk

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