What is Mediation?
Mediation is a formal negotiation assisted by us, we guide the negotiation process, act as the parties’ mediator, supporting and guiding the parties to arrive at a settlement if possible. It is one of the most extensively recognised forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”).
As you know disputes settled in court are expensive and very public, particularly in the age of social media.
More to the point the uncertainty of the legal costs and their propensity to escalate to the point where choosing litigation becomes a regret – but the parties are too far down the track to change course.
Advantages of mediation
There are many advantages when you choose mediation over litigation. In summary, these can be described as:
- Privacy – your matter does not become part of the public record – spread in hours across the internet and media outlets
- You decide how your matter will be settled
- The focus is on the needs and interests of both parties
- There is a contemplation of a continuing amicable relationship between parties post-mediation
- Higher satisfaction of the outcome – no lingering resentment
- Informality – less demand on the leadership team’s time away from their business
- Faster than going to court – set your timeline
- Lower costs – miss out on court costs and adversarial, tit for tat legal tactics that drive up legal fees
Most mediation sessions are confidential. Unlike most court cases, your documents, and your dispute will not be publicly available records.
As a neutral third party, we manage the mediation. We support the parties to achieve an amicably negotiated settlement, which is one of the reasons mediation is quickly becoming known by businesses as the modern method for them to resolve commercial disagreements.
Mediation is advantageous when parties want, or must continue a business partnership, post-dispute that would be soured, and damaged by aggressive, costly and public court proceedings.
Now, more than ever judges are recommending mediation before trial or appeal. The team who unreasonably refuses the use of mediation may subsequently suffer costs sanctions by the courts.
We always advise the parties that the agreed terms of their settled mediation are recorded in an enforceable written contractual agreement. The mediation settlement will comply with certain conditions, in the same way as a court order for enforcement purposes.
Current data from the courts regarding the settlement rates for matters referred to mediation demonstrates the success of the mediation process.
Another decisive factor is that if a dispute doesn’t settle at mediation, a settlement is usually reached post-mediation – before the matter proceeds to a visible, lengthy, and costly trial.
The process of mediation often assists in narrowing any contentious issues amongst the parties – acting as a catalyst for a subsequent settlement.