Mediation is an effective way of resolving disputes without the need to go to Court. It involves an independant third party, a mediator, who helps both sides come to an agreement.
It is appropriate to consider mediation at all stages and not to dismiss mediation out of hand.
What to mediate and when is important because of timing and also pressures from the Court. Your solicitor should try to persuade the other Lawyer/party at an early stage to mediate before significant costs are incurred.
Once mediation has been agreed, then the organising of it is important. Your solicitor will consider who should be involved, either a service provider or setting up the mediation yourself and discuss the venue and how long it will take. The choice of mediator and the costs of the mediation need to be agreed and put in writing.
After this, disclosure of supporting documentation and any other documents, together with a case summary will take place.
For the mediation, it will be decided who should attend and the role they will take at mediation. Your solicitor should be familiar with the parties responsibilities at the mediation.
(My next article will deal with the procedure at the mediation).
Christopher Newsam, Dispute Resolution