Disputes – Do they have to end up in court?

Disputes – Do they have to end up in court?

Contrary to popular belief, most lawyers do not encourage their clients to get involved in lengthy and expensive litigation. In some cases, it may be the only way of resolving a dispute, but there are alternatives – and one of these is mediation.

With the aid of a trained mediator, people who are in conflict can explore ways in which they may find a mutually acceptable way forward. The mediator remains neutral and does not impose a decision, but assists the parties in finding a solution.

The key advantages of mediation are that it is:

  • voluntary – all parties enter into the mediation process by agreement and can choose to bring it to an end if they wish;
  • confidential – the mediator and the parties agree to keep confidential all information which is disclosed in the mediation;
  • flexible – it takes place at a time and location agreed by the parties, and can provide solutions not available through the courts; 
  • quick to arrange – rather than waiting months for a formal court hearing, a mediation can be arranged as soon as the availability of the parties is known;
  • usually successful – research shows a steady 75 – 80 % success rate across a broad spectrum of mediation’s

The mediator will assist in recording the outcome of the mediation. This may be a document which simply records the agreement reached in plain language or may be a more complex document which includes a commitment to obtain an agreed court order.

So, next time you are wondering how to deal with that dispute which has been taking up too much of your time, money and energy – think mediation !

Dilys Lloyd is an experienced employment lawyer working as a Consultant with Blocks and is a CEDR accredited mediator. She can be contacted at dilys_lloyd@blockslegal.co.uk

The above is general comment only and individual advice should be taken.