We provide solutions to help you in disputes.
Greater London and East Anglia Mediation LLP (GLEAMED) was established as a Regional mediation provider in April 2008 and now offers a ‘one-stop- shop’ for Civil & Commercial, Workplace, Family, Community and International mediation services.
GLEAMED is a member of The Civil Mediation Council and is registered by them for the provision of Civil & Commercial and Workplace mediation. We are also a Ministry of Justice approved mediation provider shown on their website at: www.civilmediation.justice.gov.uk.
GLEAMED also has Resolution trained and registered family mediators, holds a Legal Aid Agency contract for publicly funded family mediation and the associated Mediation Quality Mark accreditation, and is an approved Ministry of Justice provider to the Family Mediation Helpline at: www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk.
Our mediators also undertake Community Mediation, including by working with some of the charity-based Community Mediation Providers in our region. We can also provide Peer Mediation training and oversight for schools to counteract any bullying or gang culture
For more specialised international conflict resolution matters GLEAMED works with the University of Essex Human Rights Centre. We can also provide mediator training courses that meet the Civil Mediation Council registration criteria and are independently registered by the Open College Network, and shorter mediation awareness courses.
Our Panel is made up of multi-disciplined, insured and registered mediators able to handle a wide variety of disputes. These include::
- a Surveyor, e.g. for construction, property and boundary disputes;
- an ex-Tribunal Judge, e.g. for employment disputes;
- Barristers and Solicitors, e.g. for personal injury, professional negligence, inheritance/probate, rental and leasing disputes;
- Solicitors specialising in marital law for all Family matters;
- Business professionals, e.g. for commercial disputes;
- an ex-Charity Director for community matters;
- HR professionals for workplace disputes;
- an Engineer for manufacturing/industrial matters;
- and a GP for medical matters,
Our mediators also benefit from wider experience gained in other areas that include defence, public, private sectors, and international organisations, coaching and training. As a result GLEAMED is able to provide a comprehensive mediation service matched to the circumstances of your disput
GLEAMED provides mediation services as early as required by the parties to a dispute, in order to facilitate an agreement between them that avoids any further expenditure of time, and the trouble and cost of the litigation process. We also become involved later on, when the Court has referred a matter to mediation. We have offices in London and Colchester, can use client’s premises where appropriate or arrange for other suitable facilities to be made available elsewhere.
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Disputes can all too quickly and easily escalate into acrimonious, intractable feuds and lead to lengthy, complex litigation. However, GLEAMED has considerable experience in mediating Family, Workplace, Civil & Commercial, International and local Community disputes, often on neutral territory, to achieve an outcome that all parties can live with. A GLEAMED mediator engaging fully with all the parties and using tried and tested techniques will usually be able to facilitate the development of an acceptable agreement that will avoid the time, trouble and potentially very considerable expense of going to court.
When you first contact GLEAMED we will ask you about the nature of your dispute and then allocate you to the appropriate pathway for handling it. There are some differences in the way family, workplace, civil/commercial, international and community mediations are handled and so each has its own pathway, involving a series of steps. What follows is a general description of how the process works but you can expect some minor variations, depending on the mature of your dispute. GLEAMED will, of course, ensure that you are quite clear about the process before setting out on it with you.
Ideally, before contacting GLEAMED, either you or your Solicitor will have obtained the agreement of the other party to mediation but if you would prefer, GLEAMED will approach the other party on your behalf.
For non-family mediation GLEAMED’s Managing Mediator will discuss the dispute with the parties so as to gain sufficient understanding to be able to select the best mediator to handle it. For family mediation, the referral is passed to the Family Mediator who then has an initial discussion with both sides in order to be able to assess whether the dispute is suitable for mediation. Having discussed your dispute and allocated you to the appropriate handling pathway, GLEAMED will send you the necessary documents, including a Mediation Agreement which you must sign and return, together with a cheque for the costs quoted to you. GLEAMED’s Administrative Co-ordinator and the appointed Mediator will then work with you and any representatives/advisers you may have to finalise the arrangements.
The Mediation Agreement establishes the confidentiality of all proceedings, thereby ensuring your privacy. It also provides for all offers and exchangers made during mediation to be “without prejudice” and not, therefore, subject to any subsequent disclosure or obligation unless they form part of a settlement agreement.
The mediation will take place at the agreed time and venue, with the agreed mediator and for the agreed duration. For non-family mediation, the Mediator will usually see the parties together initially and may then talk to them separately; for family mediation the arrangements will depend on the circumstances and it may be that the parties are only seen separately.
The Mediator will explore with you the issues and difficulties in your dispute and the options for a settlement. Any information given to the Mediator will be treated as confidential and will not be conveyed to anyone else without your express consent for the Mediator to do so. When an agreement is reached the Mediator will help the parties and their solicitors/advisers to write it down and complete any necessary forms.
The mediation can be extended with the agreement of all concerned, by extra hours or days, either to continue mediation or allow those concerned to consider their positions. The mediation may also be suspended pending the provision of specialist input, e.g. by an Expert Witness. Conversely, if at any time the Mediator believes that any party is abusing the mediation process or otherwise concludes that there is unlikely to be a mutually acceptable outcome, the Mediator will inform the parties that the mediation has been terminated.
You may have your solicitor or adviser present throughout the mediation but sometimes, parties do not wish to have representatives present, in which case our mediators will work with the individuals concerned on their own. Either way, the option remains for the parties to seek legal or other advice before entering into an agreement.
If appointed, one of your Adviser’s main tasks is to ensure you fully understand the nature of any agreement before you enter into it. They should also advise you on whether the agreement alone is sufficient, or whether it should be embodied as a court order, or some other steps taken to ensure that it takes effect.
The appointed Mediator will be provided in accordance with the Terms of Business that will be sent to you and with the arrangements set out in the Mediation Agreement that you must sign. If the Mediator we have offered and you have accepted should become unavailable for any reason, we will offer you another but you may withdraw at this stage if you feel they are not ideal and all monies paid will be refunded. If you cancel the mediation then a proportion of the monies paid may be refunded, depending on how much notice is given.
Conflict Resolution: prevention, management and settlement
Some of our Mediators have been involved in conflict and dispute resolution around the world and are now working in collaboration with the Department of Government Human Rights Centre the University of Essex University to help prevent, manage and settle conflicts, and contribute to justice and reconciliation during the transition to democracy thereafter.
To resolve a conflict, Mediators need to address the underlying issues and the interests of the parties to find win-win outcomes rather than seeking ways to impose an unacceptable win-lose solution. This is especially relevant where conflict is being used quite deliberately as an instrument for change, especially for political, organisational, personal or other social engineering purposes. In these cases, resolution occurs by listening to and providing opportunities for meeting the needs of all disputants, and by finding acceptable ways of adequately addressing their interests so that each party is satisfied with the outcome.
While 'conflict resolution' engages conflict once it has already started, 'conflict prevention' aims to reconcile disputants before their disagreements lead to verbal, physical, or legal fighting or even violence. Mediators can be particularly helpful when coalitions, consortia or other groupings are coming together and each participant is concerned to protect their own interests whilst having insufficient regard for those of others and also potentially unrealistic expectations of the benefits of their collaboration. A neutral third party (the Mediator) can delve into these areas with each participant and help them to identify their mutual benefits and constraints, leading to realistic expectations, clarity of roles and responsibilities and a framework/contract/governance regime that embeds arrangements they can all agree to.
Conflict or dispute management is useful for dealing with a ‘flare-up’ with its origins in a long-running underlying dispute that neither side is yet ready to settle. Over time, the precedents and arrangements arrived at in settling these local ‘flare-ups’ can contribute to the development of a wider settlement for part of or even the entire underlying dispute. However, whilst Mediators will need to keep the underlying issues in mind when dealing with a ‘flare-up’, their focus must remain on resolving the immediate dispute so as to prevent the situation getting worse. In the process, they can, of course, take any opportunity to address the wider issues but must remain alert to the danger of getting diverted from achieving a speedy resolution of the immediate problem in the process.
Our Mediators work on conflict and dispute resolution in many arenas - internationally, commercially, in the workplace, in families and in the community. In doing so, they remain very conscious of the need to understand the local cultural context when drawing on their extensive experience as mediators to facilitate the development of settlements, including the arrangements for their implementation, so that they meet the expectations of and are acceptable to all the parties concerned.