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Client Guide: Mediation

This Client Guide sets out what Mediation is and when and why to use it.

What is mediation?

Mediation is a voluntary form of Alternative Dispute Resolution, which involves a process of structured ‘without prejudice‘ negotiation facilitated by an impartial third party known as a ‘mediator’. The aim is to produce a settlement of the dispute that is acceptable to both parties, and the process enables them to retain control over whether or not they wish to settle, and on what terms. It is recognised as an efficient process which can assist parties to work through a deadlock situation, saving time and money, particularly when compared to litigation and arbitration.

Mediations have traditionally been ‘facilitations’ whereby the mediator enables and encourages the parties to explore their case or positions with a view to agreeing a compromised settlement. There is, however, a type of mediation known as ‘evaluative’ in which the mediator plays a more dominant role and expresses an opinion on the merits or strengths of each parties’ case and thereby encourages compromise and hopefully settlement.

The type of mediation and the identity of the mediator requires a significant amount of thought and is a highly strategic stage in the action. 

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