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Why Mediate? – 14 Reasons to Choose Mediation …

Effective – Clients are often surprised to see how one or two sessions can turn around long-standing conflicts. Mediation is proven to be the most effective & practical method of dispute resolution.

Client centric – It starts and ends with what the participants care about. Mediation takes seriously the issues that people say matter most to them – relationships, fairness, justice, recognition, respect, inclusion, fixing a problem.

Non-Combative – Mediation provides structure for difficult conversations, it’s cooperative & non-adversarial & provides a safe respectful & comfortable environment for discussion

Confidential – It’s  carried out in private and anything that is discussed is strictly confidential and only the mediator and the parties to the dispute are privy to the agreement reached. Only the parties to the dispute decide what is made public.

Impartial – Mediators are completely impartial and use their skill and training to open and improve discussion between the parties. Their aim is to help the parties to reach an agreement.

Voluntary – The mediation process is voluntary and there is no obligation on the parties to a dispute to take part and they may terminate the mediation process at any time. Furthermore, the process of entering mediation is very useful in helping the parties to form a better understanding of the issues and often leads to a more satisfactory resolution than where the dispute goes to court.

Control – Parties who choose mediation maintain control over the resolution process as they are directly involved. Comparatively, if a dispute goes to court then the control passes to the legal teams for both parties and ultimately to the Judge making the final determination. Equally so if a dispute is dealt with outside mediation via  formal investigation or indeed by the WRC, control over the outcome is ceded to other parties. Mediation affords the parties far better ownership influence and control over the outcome

Mutual agreement – The resolution when agreed between the parties is usually more suitable as it is the solution that the parties have worked towards & agreed. The fact that they entered mediation in the first instance is a sign that they are no entrenched and willing to consider their position and contemplate negotiation rather than confrontation. The parties have an opportunity to consider each other’s points of view and in many cases when resolution is reached the parties have the added benefit of maintaining their professional and personal relationship.

Cost – The cost of mediation is significantly less than that of going through the legal process and a typical mediation can be resolved in as little as two or three days. If a dispute goes to court it can drag on for many weeks, months or years at a very significant cost.

Speed – The mediation process is much quicker than following the legal route, WRC proceedings or indeed alternative dispute resolution options. Increasingly we now regularly see a number of high profile cases which were before the courts for some time and once they are referred to mediation they were resolved in a number of days. Mediation can usually be arranged quickly and the process completed in a short time frame.

Flexibility – Mediation is a flexible process. Different ADR techniques can be used dependent on the particular and the parties positions.  The process can be fine-tuned to meet the needs of the case. If all else fails, the parties can continue in court with a better understanding of the case.

Stress – for the many reasons outlined above deciding to chose mediation over other methods of dispute resolution can be a lot less stressful.

Compliance – Because mediation produces a solution agreed to by the disputants then compliance with the agreement is usually very high. This further reduces the cost associated with forcing or encouraging parties to honour the terms of the agreement. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties,  the mediation settlement agreement once signed is fully enforceable in a court of law.

Legal Rights – Parties involved in mediation do not forfeit any legal rights or remedies. If there is no settlement, each side can ultimately engage with a solicitor and decide to pursue their case or seek to enforce their rights, as they see it,  through the appropriate court or tribunal process.