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Mediation Process

The Mediation process in it's entirety

What is Mediation?

Mediation is one of the Alternative Dispute Resolutions (ADR) to Litigation. Litigation is where the parties resolve the conflict either through the courts or a at a Tribunal. The dispute may be settled evenly and take months, even years to resolve. This process often proves to be a very expensive and lengthy process. The parties are more in control, when using ADR such as mediation, as they appoint their chosen neutral mediator to guide them to communicate and explore the issues important to them, to achieve a settlement.

The voluntary choice of participating in mediation, whether ADR or another form, and the parties choosing their mediator makes the process more relaxed. In contrast to the allocation of a judge in litigation hearing the arguments from counsel. Mediation is recognised as being one of the fastest and most effective resolution processes.

The mediation process encourages ways to address the issues concerned, to move forward rather than focusing on which party is right or wrong in the past. Between 75% to 85% of Mediations generally settle in one day, with more complex issues and multiple parties the process can be stretched across two days. This is still more efficient than litigation. The process is beneficial to all parties as it aims to achieve a satisfactory outcome for all parties involved. 

Mediation is increasingly used to rebuild and strengthen relationships in a wide range of disputes within civil, commercial, employment, workplace and neighbourhood sectors.It is becoming increasingly utilised by individuals and companies, as the process is completely confidential, which is hugely beneficial as ADR and other forms of conciliation do not open the doors to publicity. In contrast to what could occur if the issue was resolved through litigation. Information that is passed on to the mediator is never passed to the other party without their expressed permission. Further any information discussed during the mediation will not be discussed outside the realms of the mediation or any other persons, unless full consent is given by all the parties concerned.

Mediation is without Prejudice.

Therefore, any information discussed, seen or offered within the mediation cannot be disclosed in the rare occasion that the mediation does not settle and the issue proceeds to court or tribunal. Mediation is non judgemental, during the mediation a mediator’s role is not to pass judgement or give opinions or advise on the parties positions and points of law. SMG Mediation’s Facilitative role is to guide the parties to a mutual agreeable solution, that will lead to settlement. SMG Mediation have the skills to be an evaluative mediator if all parties are agreeable to this process. However, SMG Mediation believes that it is more beneficial for the parties to be involved in the resolution as the greater the chances they will reach an agreeable settlement. Mediation is non-binding, there is no resolution within mediation until the parties concerned agree to their own settlement. Once the parties are in agreement, it is non-binding up until the agreement is written and signed by the parties. At this point the agreement enters into a legally binding contract.

How does Mediation work?

All parties are offered an initial one to one appointment with the mediator to discuss and determine the suitability of mediation, this is known as a Mediation Information and Assessment meeting (MIAM). This meeting can take up to 60 minutes and the process and principles of mediation will be explained to aid you in making an informed decision, as to whether entering mediation is right for you.

How long does it take?

The process of mediation is flexible and can take between one to two days, dependent on the number of parties and the complexity of issues, up to 85% of cases settle on the day of mediation. Many things can be agreed through mediation that the courts could never order.