What to Expect
Before the mediation
The proposal to appoint as mediators to a dispute can be made by participants directly or as instructed by legal representatives.
We will make initial contact with the participants or legal counsel before the mediation to discuss procedural and logistical details. Once specifics are confirmed, we provide a mediation agreement to be signed by all participants.
The mediation agreement details practical issues relevant to the mediation procedure and clarifies issues of confidentiality, privilege, applicable law and termination. Documentation (including court trial bundles) that can assist the mediation are provided to us following completion of the mediation agreement.
To preserve confidentiality it is crucial that all participants sign this document and on the day of the mediation you will find the mediator checking that all signatures are actually in place.
Once the mediation contract has been signed in the initial stage and returned by all parties, it is normal to allow five working days for trial bundles or paperwork to be received. We typically require a minimum of 48 hours to complete preparation and venue arrangements.
Settlement is reached on the same day in the vast majority of cases mediated.
Who is present at a mediation beyond the mediator and the primary participants? That can vary enormously. Very personal issues like inheritance disputes may pull in close relatives and friends; complex commercial disputes may include some technical support. It is quite common in mediations to have legal counsel present. The mediator tries to ensure that the attendance mix is sensible and furthers the settlement of the dispute.
The mediation itself
There is no fixed procedure for the mediation itself. The process for each dispute is tailored to the circumstances and views of those involved. Normally we would initially meet with each of the participants privately in separate rooms on the morning of the mediation. There may be value in joint sessions both initially and during the day but we take advice from all parties as to whether this pushes the process forward.
As each party presents their case, our role is to listen and understand their interests and objectives, then help them reach a common-sense settlement.
We do not mediate by discomfort! Participants are free to determine the number and length of breaks during the day.
If a settlement or agreement in principle is reached, it may be reduced to a written document in the form of a settlement agreement signed by both parties. From a mediator’s perspective it is at this point that the legal representatives come in to their own! To save time we encourage solicitors to come with draft agreements. We provide technical backup where needed.
Fixed costs are agreed upon appointment, to include pre-mediation administration, case preparatory work, travel and venue costs.
Both parties normally share costs, which will depend on the complexity and circumstances of the case.
A number of variables can affect the cost of a mediation. Please contact us for a more accurate consultation but the following costing is broadly indicative.
- For disputes ranging up to £500,000 requiring a full day of mediation, each party can expect a fee of in a range from £750 to £1,500 exclusive of VAT.