Commercial disputes are stressful, expensive, and time consuming. Commercial mediation is a hugely successful way of resolving disputes without going to court. More than ever before, courts are imposing penalties against parties who refuse to mediate and go to a trial. Even if they go on to be successful in court they can still face costs penalties.
Commercial Mediation can be used to resolve any number of difficult scenarios.
What is Mediation?
Commercial Mediation is a type of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). It is used to quickly resolve commercial disputes involving companies. Commercial mediation is an alternative way of resolving a dispute instead of going to court. When a dispute goes to court it can be one of the most stressful, time consuming and expensive time periods you will experience as an individual or business owner.
Mediation is a voluntary process – confidential at all times – which provides a real opportunity to resolve disputes without going to court. It is entirely flexible, so disputes can be resolved on whatever terms can be agreed at the mediation.
With mediation, it doesn’t matter if a dispute is worth £100.00 or £1 million, it can potentially be resolved with just 3 people in a few hours.
We use our mediation skills to stop you from fixating on the problem. Instead we help you to focus on finding a solution which is agreeable to everybody. It sounds simple, because it can be.
When Should I Mediate?
You can use mediation whenever you want to. Courts will often expect the parties to have attempted mediation before going to court. In fact, if the court decides that you have unreasonably refused to mediate a dispute before going to court, the court might penalise you even if you are successful at trial.
Put simply, the earlier you use mediation the more you will benefit. A recent report by the World Bank found that a dispute takes 437 days from issue to enforcement, on average. And while the dispute moves towards a trial, you will need to commit a huge amount of your time, energy and money in order to maintain your position and prepare for trial.
If you mediate a dispute as early as possible, your savings will be much greater than if you wait until the court orders you to use mediation.
Proactive vs Reactive?
Mediation is often thought of as being a reactive procedure – a dispute occurs and then you enter mediation in order to resolve it. And it usually does – commercial mediation has a success rate of over 80% in the UK.
But mediation can also be used proactively to prevent disputes from developing. Imagine there is a problem with one of your key suppliers, and you’re worried that it could develop into something which could damage the relationship. A difficult conversation will be required to attempt to resolve the problem and maintain good relations. This process can be much easier if you use a mediator to help you.
Commercial Mediation – standard format
Nothing takes place at a commercial mediation without your agreement. You are pivotal to the process, and to the outcome. Everything discussed during a commercial mediation is entirely confidential.
The mediator calls everybody together to a venue on an agreed date. The venue will usually have 3 rooms booked – 1 room where everybody will meet, and a room each for the parties. Some discussions take place in 1 room with everybody present, some will take place in one of the private rooms with just the mediator.
The mediator will not suggest possible solutions or advise you on whether any proposed solution is in your interests or not. Throughout the day the mediator remains completely impartial. He uses his professional skills to help you to identify what’s important, what’s problematic, and what solutions can be explored and agreed.
During the course of the day, the commercial mediation process will provide you with the best possible chance of negotiating a mutually agreeable solution. Once agreed, you will both draft and sign a legally binding mediation agreement which sets out the terms of the solution you negotiated together. The mediator is not involved in the drafting of this agreement.
The solution is in your hands.
A typical commercial mediation involving two businesses will require 1 full day mediation session. It doesn’t matter to us how complicated your dispute is, we will charge a flat fee for each mediation based only on the value of the dispute.
If a dispute is particularly deep seated, then the mediation can continue at an hourly rate of £200.00 per party.
The above fees do not include VAT.
For mediations involving a dispute with 3 or more businesses, we will provide a bespoke quote following receipt of more detailed information concerning the matter.
The only other expenses might be the cost of hiring rooms if the mediation could not take place at the office of one of the parties’ solicitors, or the cost of overnight travelling expenses.
Mediation Retainer Package
A recent addition to our products – we offer a reduced cost package to acknowledge your commitment to mediation. Under our annual mediation retainer package, you commit to a monthly fee and we will provide an agreed number of mediations per year. These mediations can be used by you to resolve workplace disputes, civil disputes, or commercial disputes with a value up to £250,000.00.
Under this retainer a single mediation will involve 1 full day mediation session. For workplace mediations, it will involve our 3D Mediation format.
The retainer package is particularly useful to large businesses, law firms, local authorities, housing associations, frameworks, healthcare providers, or accountancy firms. The monetary and time savings for a business could be enormous. Below is an example of the savings to be made for commercial disputes valued between £25,000.01 – £250,000.00, as well as all civil and workplace disputes.