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Mediation or Litigation

In my experience as a solicitor I’ve been brought up to issue Court proceedings at the drop of a hat, however seeing the advantages of mediation has been an eye opening experience.

When I first qualified there were no protocol periods and no detailed letters of claim. The insurers had 14 days and then we issued Court action even before we had a medical report. Insurers routinely settled cases and then the Court decided that we had to have a medical report before we could issue and then they wanted statements and then protocols. Cases nowadays are so front loaded that costs are shooting through the roof even before the defence has been filed.

Boundary disputes, will disputes and just about any dispute going through the Court process is a very expensive experience. The other problem with Court hearings is usually there is a winner and a loser. If you win you usually are awarded your fees but if you lose it can cost a substantial sum even for the smallest of cases.

Avoiding stressful litigation can be achieved by mediation. Lots of solicitors even now respond to offers of mediation as if you have suggested witchcraft!. It is all down to knowledge. Solicitors who are trained in dispute resolution don’t fear mediation-they embrace it. For perhaps the first time, you can sit down with your opponent and see the whites of their eyes, and then chat through the dispute. A good mediator will not only be looking for a way of resolving the dispute but will be looking for a way that gives something to both parties if possible. It might only be a reduction in costs, or a shortened process but both parties can benefit from mediation whereas at court only one wins.

A Recent Working Example

For instance recently on a boundary dispute over a patch of land between two houses, the claimant and defendant were spending thousands of pounds on a piece of ground that neither even knew existed until a shed was moved. A mediation quickly established that the piece of land was important as it allowed each party to access their garages at the back of the house. The mediation resulted in a shared driveway and an agreement as to maintain the land between them. The process was completed for a fraction of the Court fees and also the parties were able to utilise the savings to have the drive laid down. No Court would ever have arrived at that resolution. Stress avoided. Costs avoided. Time saved.

Is Litigation Defunct?

Are we seeing the end of the litigation process? I think that the short answer is no. One of the factors that will drive a mediation is the alternative. Telling participants as to the costs of the alternative is a great way of bringing parties to their senses. There will always be someone who wants to “see you in court”

boundary disputes

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Did you know?

Workplace disputes will affect profitability and performance. Use mediation to resolve disputes swiftly.

The longer a dispute continues in the workplace, the more dramatic the effect on those working in or around it.

Conflict between employees can spread throughout the workforce, affecting morale and performance, if untreated.

A 2008 CIPD survey found that 51% of respondents use an external mediator to resolve people problems and conflict.

A 2008 CIPD survey found that 75% of mediations were initiated by HR departments.

If you express your anger you will start an argument; if you explain your anger you will start a discussion.

In 2016 mediation will have saved UK businesses £3 billion in wasted management time & productivity, damaged relationships, & legal fees.

Ignoring ‘mega-cases’ the total value of mediated disputes in the UK each year is £11.5 billion.

Since 1990, the total value of mediated cases in England & Wales is £110 billion.

CEO of regional Charity – “We have had cause to use Mediatelegal recently and I was delighted with their service. the mediator was patient during a very emotional and somewhat difficult situation but handled it beautifully. We saved a significant amount of money and would highly recommend this organisation to anyone wishing to avoid costly legal bills.”

Linda Lavery, The HR Dept: “I cannot recommend them highly enough. They were brought in to resolve a complex dispute which had continued for months with no resolution. The process was managed from start to finish by Mediatelegal and with their expertise and impartiality, the conflict was resolved amicably for all parties in just 1 day. The management time and money that has been saved is incalculable.”

According to the CEDR 2018 audit, 89% of mediations settle successfully on the day or shortly afterwards.

You are entitled to recover certain expenses incurred when attending a SEND mediation session.

An individual might potentially require an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP until they reach the age of 25.

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