Civil and Commercial Mediation Reduce the risk and uncertainty of going to court

By choosing mediation:

You are choosing to stay in control

You are choosing to achieve a fair and workable outcome

You are free to reach creative solutions, attractive to both parties, that are not available at court

Endorsed by courts

The increasing use of mediation in civil and commercial disputes is as a result of courts endorsing the process as an aid to settlement. The combined effect of the Civil Procedure Rules and case law means it has never been easier to persuade a party to mediate. In fact, courts are now often imposing significant costs sanctions on a party that has been unreasonable in their refusal to mediate. PGF II SA v OMFS Company 1 Ltd

Part 36 Offer

A Part 36 offer is an offer made by either the claimant or the defendant as a tactical step designed to reach a settlement early, usually prior to the start of trial. Please speak to your legal advisor for a full explanation of Part 36 offers. They will provide you with the legal advice you need to make an informed decision on whether to accept or reject the offer.

A large difference between parties' respective Part 36 offers does not mean that mediation does not have a reasonable chance of success.

In the case of PGF II SA v OMFS Company 1 Ltd, Lord Justice Briggs stated: "Nor do Part 36 offers necessarily or even usually represent the parties' respective bottom lines. There was, accordingly, no unbridgeable gulf between these parties' respective Part 36 offers, which could not in any circumstances have been overcome in a mediation... Standing back, the parties may fairly be said to have been converging at a rate which made a mediation or some other form of alternative dispute resolution highly appropriate, not least because, as the parties would have appreciated if given realistic budgets by their respective solicitors, an amount broadly equivalent to that gap would have to be expended in yet further costs in order to have the dispute resolved at a trial."

In Garritt-Critchley and Others v Ronnan and Solarpower PV Limited, the judge rejected the defendant's belief that the parties were too far apart for a mediation to be successful. He said "Parties don't know whether in truth they are too far apart unless they sit down and explore settlement."

Joint Settlement Meetings

We support the use of joint settlement meetings. But, if this has been tried unsuccessfully, then using an independent and impartial mediator will change the dynamic. This can often be the difference that leads to an agreement.

Distrust

Unfortunately, relationships can deteriorate to the extent that there is considerable dislike and distrust between the two parties. Again, this is not a reasonable reason to refuse to mediate. In Garritt-Critchley and Others v Ronnan and Solarpower PV Limited, the court said: "And in any event it is precisely where there may be distrust or emotion between the parties, which it might be thought is pushing them down the road to an expensive trial, where the skills of a mediator come in most usefully. They are well trained to diffuse emotion, feelings of distrust and other matters in order that the parties can see their way to a commercial settlement."

Too late to mediate?

Rarely can you turn to mediation too early, but one thing we are often asked is, "Is it too late to mediate?"

The short answer is "no".

In a long-standing dispute the parties usually know exactly what the conflict has cost them. Even on the eve of a court date, and perhaps because of a trial's inherent risk and uncertainty, parties can be especially committed to finding a workable solution in order to avoid having a judgement imposed on them.

A Final Word

In conclusion, mediation is looked upon favourably by the judiciary. It can even be argued that there is an expectation by judges that settlement via mediation should be attempted before a case reaches court.

Around 80% of the disputes coming to mediation reach an agreement, and more than 90% of people leaving mediations express satisfaction with the process.

With most mediations taking place within a single day, mediation will save you time, save you money and save you stress.

Any agreement reached will remain strictly confidential, ensuring you will maintain your privacy and avoid any adverse publicity.

We provide mediation for a wide range of civil and commercial disputes.

Thinking of Mediation?

Speak to us today to commence your mediation process Contact us

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