What is mediation?
Law – An attempt to bring about a peaceful settlement or compromise between disputants through the objective intervention of a neutral party.
When two (or more) parties are in dispute, it is quite common for the dispute to end up in court. Whilst litigation remains an effective method of settling disputes, there are other alternatives that come under the broad umbrella of “Alternative Dispute Resolution” which include Mediation.
Mediation is a way of resolving disputes using a neutral third party (the Mediator) to assist the parties in dispute to negotiate their own settlement. Mediation has a structure, timetable and dynamics that ordinary negotiation lacks. It is without prejudice (i.e. off the record and the details cannot be disclosed in court), private and confidential.
The Mediator will use various techniques to initiate and/or improve the dialogue between the parties in dispute, with the aim to help them reach an agreement with concrete effects.
Mediation is voluntary (only takes place if both parties agree), quick (usually one day), and a cost effective way (no court fees etc) of resolving disputes without the need to go to court (in some cases, a judge may even refer some cases to Mediation). The Mediation involves an independent third party (the Mediator) who helps both sides come to an agreement.
Mediation also has other advantages as well as timescale and cost. The outcome can be structured in a way that suits the parties in dispute. If you go to court, you are abdicating the decision-making to a complete stranger (the judge) and have to accept their ruling. For example, when you are looking at the distribution of assets, all a judge can really do is order them sold and then decide on how the sale proceeds are to be divided – in a Mediation, the parties can explore issues such as which assets mean more (e.g. sentimental value) and agree to share them out accordingly.
Another benefit is that mediation can often preserve relationships that would otherwise be irreparably damaged in litigation. For example, a dispute with a supplier can be resolved in ways that a court couldn’t entertain (e.g. provision of services on a pro-bono basis for a specified time, or even a structured joint venture to capitalise on synergies).
In a nutshell, the Mediation process allows you to safely explore “out of the box” alternative solutions that a court simply can’t, and do it in a timely and cost effective manner. Remember, if an agreement can’t be reached, you can still go to court!
Why mediate with James Rosa Associates Ltd?
The bulk of our work is negotiating settlements on behalf of our clients with their creditors (this includes bank debt, trade creditors, HMRC, and a lot of work with directors personal guarantees). This experience in negotiation is of great benefit in the mediation process as it gives us the ability to see and understand both sides of a position and be able to seek out the common ground for a resolution.
Whilst we can Mediate on any civil or commercial matter (excluding family and workplace), we specialise in matters of insolvency, banking and finance. If you would like to know more, please feel free to contact us.
Please see here for our blogs on mediation.