Address: 1A Fullers Parade, Fullers Road, South Woodford, London E18 2BF
Phone: 020 3245 1800
Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). Mediation is a consensual process and it is the participants (or parties) to the mediation that have the power to control the final outcome. The aim is to find a resolution to the dispute without having to proceed in a formal way, such as proceeding to a court of law.
The process is confidential and ‘without prejudice’ which means that nobody outside the mediation room should know about the discussions that have taken place, and this applies whether or not a resolution is reached. Furthermore, a court of law or tribunal is not entitled to hear about any discussion that has taken place within a mediation, including any offers to settle by either party.
The resolutions available to parties to a mediation are wide and so there is a potential for a “win-win” outcome as opposed to proceeding to court where there is usually a winner and a loser. Mediation also avoids the costs of proceeding legally and also takes away the risk of losing a case after substantial expense on legal fees.
Typically, a mediation session will start with both parties in one room, although a mediation can take place and be successful even if neither party sees the other for the duration of the process. The process usually lasts up to a day at a mutual venue and location. Much of the mediation takes place with each party sitting in separate rooms to each other with the mediator moving from room to room to advance the process.
The mediator is not there to decide legal issues but to facilitate an outcome that both parties will agree to. The mediator will use various skills and techniques such as listening, open and closed questioning and reality testing. Above all, the mediator must remain impartial.
If an agreement is reached, this is concluded by a document which is known as a “settlement agreement” which is signed by both parties. It should be noted that, although it has the same name, it is not the same as a settlement agreement that is commonly used to settle employment law claims (see our page on settlement agreements regarding this).
Mediation can take place before or during legal proceedings or in situations where legal proceedings are not even contemplated.
We provide a mediation service for all areas of law and all areas of dispute. Although we specialise in employment law, as a mediator does not form a judgment or make any formal decisions, it is not necessary for him or her to have an in-depth knowledge of the law.
If you are interested in using our service, we can contact the other party to see whether mediation is of interest to them. If both parties wish to proceed, then a mediation agreement will be sent for them to sign and return. We will then arrange a venue. Essential documents are agreed between both parties and sent to us in advance of the mediation in order for us to have an understanding of the dispute. Both parties will then arrive at the agreed venue on the given day and mediation will begin.
Please contact us on the above number if mediation is of interest to you. We will be delighted to help.