Civil and commercial mediation is used for a very wide range of disputes and offers a faster and less expensive way of resolving disputes than going to Court.
Civil and commercial mediation is used for a very wide range of disputes including those involving: contracts, boundaries, building work, car repair work, property, rents/deposits/service charges/leases, company/business matters, loans/credit agreements, holiday arrangements and other consumer protection matters, will and probate matters, personal injury, professional negligence, misuse of intellectual property and copyright breaches, and public service matters, e.g. health, education, planning, housing, etc.
Mediation offers a faster and less expensive way of resolving disputes than going to Court. It uses a well-established process in which an impartial third party (the mediator) helps those in dispute to find a mutually acceptable solution in a more familiar and less stressful setting than a Court hearing. You can use mediation before going to a solicitor or after having done so at any stage prior to the actual Court trial. The process is governed by a Mediation Agreement and Rules, and a Mediation Settlement Agreement is enforceable if written down and signed by those concerned.
A proposal to use mediation can come from anyone involved in the dispute, including any legal representative, but as mediation is voluntary, all those concerned must be willing to participation in the process. However, if one side in a dispute is found by the Court to have unreasonably declined an offer of mediation, this may well be reflected in an adverse award of costs, even if the party concerned wins the case.
Mediation offers you:
- Cost savings
- More control over an efficient process
- Privacy and confidentiality
- The assistance of a neutral third party skilled at resolving disputes
- The flexibility and scope to develop an acceptable and enforceable outcome
- Potential of preserving your business and personal relationships
Mediation can save you money, stress and time. If direct negotiations have failed but neither side has yet filed a lawsuit, mediation can provide a further opportunity to resolve the dispute before entering into litigation. If litigation is already underway, mediation can be used to settle the lawsuit and avoid the cost, time and aggravation of prolonged legal process. The mediation process is structured to result in agreement and encourage a commitment to settlement. As a collaborative process, mediation allows the parties to clarify the real issues involved in the conflict and develop an acceptable agreement with the assistance of the mediator. The active participation of the disputants in mediation makes it more likely that they will wish to avoid continued escalation of the dispute and seek acceptable settlement terms, which may well be based on a solution of their own making that would not have been available in court.
Those in dispute negotiate with the assistance of a neutral third-party, the mediator, whose goal is to help them settle the conflict. This neutral role enables the mediator to challenge people’s assumptions and help them to craft a solution that they might not otherwise have found. Furthermore, the confidentiality and without prejudice status of mediation allows the participants to explore settlement options that ‘go the extra mile’ without fear of negative publicity or subsequent compromise. In short, the process gives parties more control and scope to find solutions to resolve their dispute, with the assistance of a neutral third-party mediator.
An outline of the mediation process is below and a chart showing it in more detail is available here.
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. GLEAMED’s Managing Mediator or Administrative Co-ordinator will discuss the dispute with the parties concerned so as to gain sufficient understanding to be able to select the best mediator or choice of mediators to handle it. Having discussed your dispute, established that it is suitable for mediation and agreed the mediator, date and venue, GLEAMED will send you the necessary documents, including an Agreement to Mediate, which everyone attending must sign, and an invoice 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. This will include an opportunity for you to provide the mediator with those background papers you would like them to have read before the mediation and any position statement showing how you would like the dispute to be resolved.
The Agreement to Mediate 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 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 Agreement to Mediate 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 decide to cancel the mediation, then a proportion of the monies paid or due may be refunded/abated, depending on how much notice is given.
The mediation will take place at the agreed time and venue, with the agreed mediator and for the agreed duration. The mediator will usually meet the participants informally before the start of formal proceedings and then, unless there are objections to doing so, opened the mediation, will usually see the parties together to open the mediation. Thereafter the mediator may talk to the participants separately or collectively, depending on developments.
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 any solicitors/advisers present 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, e.g. by telephone or a suspension, 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 additional measures are needed, such as a Consent Order or Tomlin Order to halt any ongoing litigation.
Settlements may contain financial and non-financial elements, which could include compensation to be paid by one side either in a lump sum or by staged payments. Non-financial measures, either together with or instead of monetary compensation, could include measures such as an apology, offer of new contract or acceptance of changes to the existing one, sum zero offset (e.g. compensation against service charges or agreed work in lieu of payment), ‘Drop Hands’ – in which both sides agree to end the dispute as things stand, beneficial marketing/PR activity by one side for he other, etc.
Those attending mediation need to have the authority to settle or ready access to those with such authority and any agreement will not set a precedent for the resolution of other disputes unless this is expressly provided for in the agreement and then would apply only to those who are party to it.
A settlement agreement that is written down, signed and witnessed becomes a contract and is subsequently enforceable as such in the court, if so required.
Simon Barry – Barrister Mediator »
Robin Bramley – Surveyor Mediator »
Sarah Branson – Barrister Mediator »
David Brown – Solicitor Mediator »
Sabuhi Chaudhry – Barrister Mediator »
Neil Fry – Barrister Mediator »
Bryan Johnston – Solicitor Mediator »
Dr Bhupinder Kohli – Mediator (Doctor) »
Niki Langridge – Barrister Mediator »
Jacqueline Marks – Barrister Mediator »
Catherine Nicholes – Barrister Mediator »
Shirley Paul – Mediator »
Susan Paul – Solicitor Mediator »
Martin Quinn – Solicitor Mediator »
Christine Sheldrake – Barrister Mediator »
Tom Thomas OBE – Managing Mediator »
Lucinda Wicks – Barrister Mediator »
We always provide a full quotation, so that you know exactly what the costs will be before you enter the mediation process. Our charges reflect the value of the dispute, in line with the court and Law Society guidelines, and current market rates. The different types of mediation each have their own fee structure and the tables below provide guidance on the rates concerned.
There is no charge for accommodation if the mediation takes place at one of our venues in London and Colchester. Otherwise, if accommodation is needed elsewhere for the mediation, we can arrange it and the charge will be shown separately in the estimate, together with any other expenses, such as for catering and the mediator's travel and subsistence. If the mediation can be conducted on the site of a dispute, or the parties want to arrange accommodation themselves, then the mediator will go to their agreed location.
Subject to periodic review, the structure of fees to be charged by GLEAMED is that approved by the Ministry of Justice and extrapolated thereafter:-
|Band||Description||Amount per day
(to which we must add 20% VAT)
|A||Minor, usually community based disputes and small claims up to £5,000.||Pro-bono to £500|
|B||Fast track level claims from £5,001 to £15,000, small local business disputes, more complex community-based disputes||£600 for 3 hours of mediation|
|C||Multi-track level claims from £15,001 to £50,000, public sector involvement, business/commercial disputes, inter-organisational disputes
|£850 for 4 hours of mediation|
|D||Major disputes over £50,001, including international, with fees based on complexity, preparation required, likely duration, etc.||£1250 upwards|
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