In an article dated 23 October 2017*, John Hyde discusses recent findings in the Civil Justice Council’s Interim Report on the future role of Alternative Dispute Resolution**. The report contains some interesting mediation statistics, providing a breakdown of mediator case loads.
The mediation statistics make for interesting reading, with a staggering 97% of cases involving either commercial contract (45%) or professional negligence disputes (42%). The next highest is intellectual property (5%).
The full table is here:
The dramatic weighting in favour of commercial contracts and professional negligence is interesting. This suggests that those involved in these disputes are more familiar with the benefits of mediation compared with litigation, such as the dramatic costs savings and the ability to protect reputations because mediation is a confidential process.
Just as interesting is the scarcity of use in a fields such as employment law. Perhaps the availability of ACAS Early Conciliation, & Judicial mediation, in employment law might explain the low usage in that field; or perhaps workplace disputes are simply being resolved in-house at an early stage more often.
Construction law has a well established ADR framework, and adjudication and arbitration are well established procedures. Mediation is still stated at a surprisingly low figure in the above table though.
Personal injury is both surprising and not surprising to us. Low value personal injury work very rarely sees mediation used. It is process driven the majority of the time, and costs are fixed. Where mediation is more likely to be used is in complicated or high value cases, or in clinical negligence cases. The launch of the NHS Resolution mediation scheme should have seen the use of mediation increase in this sector, however there has been some recent controversy regarding the low uptake of the scheme and who is to blame for this***.
The gist of John Hyde’s article is that there remains some distrust towards the supposed benefits and effectiveness of mediation. For this to change, mediation providers need to continue to reach out and provide information to the public.
* article here
** CJC interim report can be found here
***Head of NHS Resolution blames Claimant lawyers for low uptake of NHS mediation scheme – article and comments here
We at Mediatelegal believe passionately in mediation. If you or your client would like to discuss how it can be of assistance, please feel free to get in touch. We’ll provide any information you need, or come to meet with you.