Edward qualified as a mediator in 2011 at the London School of Mediation and is now on several mediation panels including Global Mediation.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a relatively low-cost, private and non-binding alternative to taking a dispute to court. The result only becomes binding if all parties agree to it. More often than not a specially trained mediator will facilitate a resolution which is proposed and agreed by the parties themselves, avoiding the need to go to court and saving thousands of pounds in legal fees as a result.
A mediation usually consists of a series of negotiation sessions held confidentially between the mediator and each of the parties. It may also involve jointly held discussions involving all of the parties and the mediator.
Sometimes the parties do not need to meet face-to-face in order for the process to be effective, whether through use of separate rooms or even via telephone conference.
The sort of disputes which are most suitable for mediation
The following types of disputes are particularly well suited to mediation:
- disputes with employers / employees
- contractual disputes
- boundary disputes
- claims over faulty goods or poor services
- small claims
- family disputes
- disputes arising from school and care provision
Although each mediation is different, the mediator usually runs the process as a series of structured discussions with each of the parties, separately and jointly as appropriate. The process allows each party to communicate their own position and to gain an appreciation of the considerations of the other party which may be forming a barrier to an agreed settlement.
The mediation is brought to a point where offers for settlement have been exchanged and considered.
It is then entirely each party’s choice as to whether to decide to accept an offer and to enter into a legally binding agreement or not.
All information remains confidential and will not be passed to the other party unless express permission is provided.
The benefits of mediation
- Cost savings – in many cases a full or partial settlement reached through mediation can save tens of thousands of pounds in legal costs alone;
- Reduced risk – it also has the advantage that negotiated settlements are rarely entirely one-sided. This is in contrast to the decision of a court which usually involves one side losing completely and being ordered to pay the other party’s costs;
- Non-binding – until the parties chose to enter into a binding agreement, nothing which takes place in mediation will be binding upon them. Each party can still take their dispute to court after the mediation if they want to;
- Privacy & Confidentiality – courts conduct hearings in public. The dispute will be aired in a public forum and may be reported in the press. Mediation takes place in private. It is possible to make confidentiality and non-disclosure a legally binding part of any agreed settlement;
- Speed – the whole thing can be settled and resolved within a day, rather than having to wait for a much lengthier and stressful court procedure to unfold.
Edward’s broad legal expertise gives him the ability to deal with a wide range of contentious and non-contentious cases. His experiences in the commercial and criminal sectors provide him with real expertise in dealing with sensitive and emotionally charged cases, without losing sight of commercial realities.
His track record shows an excellent success rate in resolving what seemed to be intractable disputes. This is particularly true in Special Educational Needs (“SEN”) mediations when parties can seem determined to proceed to Tribunals before reaching full agreement.
For more information please contact Edward’s clerks.