The classic definition of mediation is that it is ‘a flexible confidential process where a neutral person actively assist parties to achieve a negotiated solution’
It is a process that is widely recognised in the commercial world as a means to resolve disputes and is favoured because it’s fast, cost-saving, future-focussed and preserves relationships. Mediation promotes a consensus-driven approach so that the parties involved work with the mediator to find their own solution. One of the many benefits of mediation is that it allows for pragmatic solutions that might not otherwise be achievable and are outside of the limited remit of a court.
Parties are sometimes concerned that inviting mediation is a sign of weakness but mediation isn't about being 'soft' - it's about being pragmatic and deploying limited resources cost-effectively. Commercial mediation has several distinct advantages over traditional litigation – firstly, it is cheaper. A two-day listing in the High Court for a complex commercial case could easily run to £100,000 or more. By comparison, two days of mediation will cost a fraction of this – more likely to be in the region of £10,000.
Mediation can also commence as soon as both sides are ready instead of having to wait for a listing in a backlogged Court system. In any event, when the case is close to trial judges will ask whether the parties have engaged in mediation and if not, why not, with potential cost penalties for refusal.
Mediation processes do have teeth – with the consent of both parties involved, they are capable of producing legally binding agreements. But more than that, mediation is capable of fixing feelings and ongoing trading and business relationships can be preserved – or even enhanced – by the presence of a mediator who can prevent the miscommunications and misunderstandings that undermine dialogue.
Dorcas Crawford has a wealth of experience in mediating disputes ranging from multi-million pound commercial contracts to workplace disputes between junior employees. Regardless of the financial value, the same mediation principles of neutrality and confidentiality apply and are the key to successful resolution.
In the UK the success rate of mediation in resolving disputes is between 75-85%
the better way provides a complete mediation service - from assessing your individual needs to making the practical arrangements to set up the mediation. We will provide an estimate of the time required (usually a half or full-day mediation), the cost, details of the mediator, we will carry out conflict checks and make all the practical arrangements where required to set up the mediation.
In the event that Dorcas has any kind of conflict which would prevent her from conducting the mediation, we will provide one of our panel of expert mediators with experience in the relevant field.