Mediation is an effective way to resolve a dispute, says Phil Clarke, pictured, of Eaton Smith.
MEDIATION is a cost effective, flexible and participant centred way of resolving disputes which can deliver a more attractive outcome for the parties than going to court. It is confidential and, compared to litigation, inexpensive.
Why is it so effective? Mediation works because it introduces a different and neutral dynamic into a dispute.
The mediator's role is not to impose a decision or judge the merits of the case. Mediation works because it enables parties find their own solutions to their own problems. The parties remain in control of the decision making.
It is cost effective. Mediation is significantly less expensive than the cost of bringing or pursuing action through the courts where you have the risk of having to pay the other parties legal costs as well as your own, if you lose.
Mediation helps resolve disputes quickly, usually within one day.
The mediator's fee is known and agreed in advance and is customarily split equally between the parties.
All parties (including the mediator) sign up to a confidentiality agreement which means that everything said or done during the mediation is confidential.
Mediation is flexible. The mediator's role is to manage the process to give the parties the best chance to reach a settlement.
Mediation is not just about compromise. The parties are assisted by the mediator to explore options for settlement.
The mediator assists the parties to look for areas of possible agreement as well as disagreement.
Mediation is available at any stage before a final hearing of a case. Even if a dispute is close to a court hearing date, mediation can and should be explored as an alternative.
Mediation in the civil and commercial field can be used for the following areas, among others: partnership disputes, corporate transactional disputes, commercial agency disputes, professional negligence disputes, employer/ employee disputes, insolvency disputes and general commercial disputes.
Eaton Smith has long advised clients in mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.