We provide solutions to help you in disputes.
Unlike the Courts, there is no rigid, set format for mediation. Instead, the mediator and participants agree the arrangements to be used at a preliminary stage of the process. There is, however, a generic template available that can help those concerned to adopt a mutually acceptable arrangement. This generic template is shown in chart form below and more generally, if preferred, in explanatory text below that.
Referral Form can be found on the website click here and should be completed before we go any further. All the information you provide is confidential and does not commit you to anything at this stage.
A GLEAMED representative will discuss the dispute with you in order to help decide who would be the best mediator for your situation. Click here to find out more about GLEAMED Mediators.
They will also check whether you have contacted the other party or whether you wish GLEAMED to do this (see also Willingness Test).
Although there are some variations in how different types of dispute are dealt with, GLEAMED will provide you with all the information about how the process will work in your case, and guide you through it. Click here to find out about the four main types of mediation.
GLEAMED will check to see if our Firm or any of our Mediators are involved with any of the parties to the dispute or their legal representatives in any way before agreeing to become the Mediation Provider.
If you or the other party know any of the mediators through work, family, etc., this creates a conflict of interest and it will be necessary to choose another mediator.
GLEAMED contact the other party involved in the dispute to make sure that they are happy to go ahead with mediation.
If so, the process continues; if not, the process ends (mediation is voluntary; no-one has to attend).
Having checked for any conflict and on the availability of the individuals concerned, GLEAMED offer both sides a choice of mediator and facilitate appointment to one who will handle the mediation.
GLEAMED has two main mediation facilities, in Colchester and near Chancery Lane in London. We have additional venues for family mediation in Witham, Brentwood and Clacton.
We can arrange for suitable facilities to be provided elsewhere, use solicitor’s or firms offices, or other venues, provided they offer the facilities required and are acceptable to all concerned.
Advice on costs will be provided by the GLEAMED Representative – advice on mediation is free and you will always be told about any charges before you incur them.
- We use Ministry of Justice approved rates for civil/commercial claims of up to £50,000 after which we will provide a quotation.
- Workplace fees are benchmarked below or at those charged by ACAS
- Family mediation fees not covered by public funding are charged at an hourly rate agreed between the client and mediator at the Assessment Meeting.
Further information on costs can be found here and invoices have to be paid before the mediation.
Convening the Mediation
The Agreement to Mediate, engaging the mediator and setting out the rules and conditions for the mediation, especially those on confidentiality and offers being without prejudice, is agreed by all concerned, and must be signed by them before the mediation commences.
A Convening Message is sent to all concerned explaining when and where the mediation till take place and covering any other administrative arrangements.
Participants will be invited to send the Mediator those papers they would like him or her to have read before the event, together with any opening position statement they wish to make, which can (but need not) be shared with the other side. These documents should reach the mediator 7 days before the mediation.
- Some documents may be common to both sides (e.g. Court papers) and these can form an ‘agreed bundle’ but others may be confidential and for the mediators eyes only.
One to One Meetings
The Mediator will usually get in touch with individual parties or their lawyers by telephone or email to introduce themselves and answer any initial questions informally, prior to the actual mediation.
Decide Process for Mediation
Having reviewed the information provided the Mediator will decide how best to handle the mediation, including e.g. whether to hold joint or only separate meetings with participants.
Agreed costs must be settled before mediation can begin.
(Please click here for more information about the cost of mediation and ways to pay)
Opening the Mediation
Participants arrive early and are met informally for a few minutes by the mediator to establish a working relationship and ensure the Agreement to Mediate is signed and invoice paid.
Usually, the participants then hold a joint meeting at which the Mediation reminds every one of the contents of the Agreement to Mediate and both sides spend a few minutes outlining their case and the outcome they want.
Both sides are then given the opportunity to present their positions in the dispute after which the mediator establshes ground rules for the day, reaffiriming confidentiality.
The mediator will facilitate negotiation whilst it remains productive but will break into separate rooms when requested by a participant or the mediator considers time for reflection and one-to-one discussion would best facilitate progress.
Individual and group meeting
The mediation will continue to use both separate and collective meetings to help the participants find options and ultimately an acceptable solution to the dispute. Nothing said in a private session is passed to the other side by the mediator without specific authority.
If a Settlement is Agreed
Settlement8 Agreement Drawn Up by the participants, assisted by the mediator.
Where present, the parties’ solicitors will usually handle the drafting.
If a Settlement is Not Agreed
All parties might agree to extend the mediation or leave it open whilst they gather further evidence/information and reflect on the options for a solution.
The mediator will then continue to facilitate progress by telephone, emails and meetings as required.
Closing the Mediation
The mediator will remind the parties that everything said and documented within the mediation was for the purposes of seeking agreement at mediation only and may not be used or referred to in any subsequent proceedings. The mediator will also remind the parties of the confidentiality permission that ensures everything remains private. The mediator then formally ends the mediation.
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.