Mediation is a method of resolving issues which may arise on the breakdown of a relationship, such as a marriage breakdown or a family or estate dispute.
Mediation is an option for parties who would prefer to resolve their issues and disputes outside of court. It’s cost effective and quicker – usually taking hours as opposed to days, weeks or months – and involves the help of an accredited or trained mediator who acts as an impartial third party.
It’s now a requirement of the courts that all parties to litigation are expected to consider the possibility of resolving their differences through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). If parties unreasonably refuse to consider and/or take part in ADR, they run the risk of being penalised when the question of liability for the costs arising out of the proceedings in question is considered by a court.
One of the most popular methods of ADR is mediation, whether conducted before or after court proceedings have started.
How does mediation work?
As the mediator is independent and has no financial interest in the outcome of the case, they will advise and test both your cases with a view to resolving your dispute. Mediation is a confidential process and “without prejudice”, so you’re free to discuss any issues you have as they will not be repeated outside of the mediation. The freedom to air your problems will ideally lead to a resolution and settlement during the mediation. But if this can’t be agreed on by both parties, your arguments in the case will still be preserved as it moves forward.
The process of mediation varies, but generally it follows this type of course:
- Parties agree to mediate and a brief outline of the issues is drawn up by the parties
- The mediator is appointed to deal with the issues set out in the outline of the issues
- The parties sign a mediation agreement and pay the mediator’s fees
- A timetable is agreed to assist the parties and the mediator prepare for the mediation
- The parties exchange and submit to the mediator their position statements and any supporting documents (generally, these will be restricted in size and number, and are there to provide those attending the mediation with a summary of each party’s case). Should a party also wish to submit a statement or documents to the mediator that will not be shown to the opponent, that may also be done confidentially.
- The parties attend the mediation
- When an agreement is reached, it is reduced to writing and signed
If there are court proceedings underway, a stay of proceedings (which halts further legal steps being taken) can often be agreed if needs be, to allow mediation to take place.
Who are Lester Aldridge’s mediators?
Our trained mediators who are recognised in various disciplines of law are:
We also have our own accredited training course and will sometimes request if a student mediator can attend the mediation with the appointed mediator.
Cost of a mediation solicitor at Lester Aldridge
Although we try to keep the costs of mediation to a minimum, there are times when extra time is needed. If necessary, we’re able to accommodate discussions that take place outside the mediation.
You can attend mediation sessions at any of our offices or our mediators can come to you at a venue of your choice.
Who pays for mediation?
We recommend that you and the other party agree to share the cost of the mediator’s fees and expenses. Once the mediation agreement is signed, you’re both fully responsible to pay your share of the fees.
The charge will depend upon the type of work, please contact our mediators for further information.