Mediation is a voluntary and confidential way to resolve disputes. It can be quicker, cheaper and less stressful than going to court. It can remove the uncertainity of a trial and the parties can get outcomes that a judge is unable to order.
As the mediator I help the disputing parties communicate and negotiate with each other to find and agree on a solution they can all accept. I do not make decisions or impose solutions but instead assist the parties generate their own mutually acceptable agreement. At a mediation you remain in control of the outcome.
My approach to mediation is to promote dialogue, understaning and collaboration. This is a difficult process because relations between the parties are often very poor. However, time and again the mediation process has helped parties clarify the issues, improve communication and empowered them to find their solution.
My mediations usually follow this process:
Initial Private Meetings
Once you have agreed to appoint me I will have at least one private meeting with you (and your lawyers if you are represented) to understand what is important to you and how you would like the dispute to be resolved. I will have a similar private meeting with the other side. These discussions are confidential and I do not pass anything on to the other side without permission.
These meetings take place online in advance of the mediation day. The parties’ lawyers usually send me some of the important documents about the case for me to read in advance.
The Mediation Day
Most mediations take place online but can be done in person if the parties agree. On the day I start with private meetings with each side exploring options and learning more about what is important to them.
There may be a time in the mediation when I ask the lawyers to meet together with me in my private room to discuss technical legal issues or just to explore different approaches if progress is not been made.
I may invite you to meet with the other side at some point during the mediation. This is entirely optional and will only happen if both sides agree. It can often be a helpful part of the process and if I suggest it I will explain my reasons for doing so.
People come to mediation because they want to end their dispute, This means that at some point someone will have to make an offer. There are usually many offers exchanged before we reach a solution that both sides accept. I help parties consider how to make offers that will get them towards their goal and generate ideas when the negotiations appear to be stalling.
Most of my mediations end with the parties agreeing a resolution – we then have that written up and signed in a binding agreement which signals the end of the dispute.