I may have heard of this before, but what does it really mean? How do mediation services work? These are some of the thoughts that may run through your mind when hearing about this question. Here’s an explanation and 5 key advantages to using Mediation!
At some point we will face a legal dispute
Almost all of us in our lives will enter into a legal dispute, believing that anything legal is stressful, time consuming and very expensive. Most people “want justice” and their “day in court”. But what we are really looking for are ways to resolve our disputes more amicably, speedily and cost effectively.
The legal system is uncertain
With BREXIT there is uncertainty about existing, let alone any future legislation. It may become increasingly difficult to know the outcome of your dispute, once entering into litigation. The courts have an increasing case load and want more individuals and businesses to resolve their disputes without using litigation. In many cases the courts will not accept your application unless the parties have attempted a form of alternative dispute resolution.
Mediation Services neutrality
Mediation services are an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to out of court settlement. Parties appoint their chosen independent neutral third party, to enable the parties involved to make a settlement to their legal dispute. Mediation services can be an organisation full of individual independent mediators or a single independent mediator. Most mediators have a professional background whether it be from an Accountancy, law, business etc.
To be a mediator you are not required to have another profession, although this may be helpful in understanding the area of the dispute involved. Our services can be used by both individuals and businesses and are increasingly being used by businesses because of the privacy and confidential elements that mediation carries.
Mediation services present and future position
Currently some feel that UK mediation services are a grey or unknown area. However, with the rise of cases going to mediation in places like Australia, Portugal and USA, in a few years time, the UK will be more aware of not only the process, but the accessibility and success it can bring, with most individuals and businesses using mediation as their natural process to resolving a dispute.
What are the advantages to using a Mediation Service?
Once you begin to understand mediation your thoughts will stem to how useful this maybe to yourself, a business or to someone you wish to refer. There are many advantages to mediation with no disadvantages, because even if some cases do not settle, the list of issues are generally lessened by the time their case goes to court.
Advantage 1- Private
We in the UK that do not like to enter conflict and, more importantly, do not want others to know that we are in conflict. Mediation offers individuals and businesses a chance to not hang out their “dirty laundry”. This is becoming more favourable to businesses especially as reputation is a key factor to most businesses success.
Advantage 2- Confidential
The idea that you can have a dispute and the only people that know there is one are the parties involved, and that information can not be repeated to outsiders, is favourable to most individuals and businesses. Not even the Mediator can be summoned by the courts to inform what took place in the mediation without written consent of the parties. Unless the dispute involved is a violation of a legislation.
Advantage 3- Cost effective
We like a bargain but still want quality of service, even if you are an organisation where money may not be an issue. If you are able to save on costs you are likely to choose that option. In comparison to other alternative dispute resolutions and more so, litigation, you will definitely see a positive difference in your bank balance when using mediation.
Advantage 4- Speedier process
Anyone that has gone through the litigation process or witnessed a loved one doing so, will know that the process can be lengthy. Your patience is tirelessly tested with the possibilities of court dates being postponed, litigants or legal representatives not turning up and many other administrative errors. With Mediation your dispute is likely to be settled within a few hours or up to a couple of days. All parties agree on time and location. Therefore, there are no worries about venue or time changes.
Advantage 5- Party Control
Many people enter into litigation because they believe their unresolved dispute caused them some injustice. Their “day in court” is a chance for them to feel they are being heard and they are hopeful the outcome will allow them to get justice. In litigation there is considered to be a winner and a looser and the process is heavily controlled by legal system. With mediation there are no regulatory system and the parties are in full control of “how”, “when”, “what” the process entails. This enables the parties to be more if not totally in control of the their mediation process and the outcome of their dispute.
Whether you had no idea of what mediation services were or had no idea of their advantages, I hope this post has been insightful for you. Please comment below your thoughts, experiences of mediation and future posts you wish for me to make. Or follow this link for a personal conversation>>>
Selina Morgan Gayle
Selina Morgan-Gayle BA (Hons) MCIArb is the Director of SMG Mediation Ltd. She has experience as a mediator and a corporate background as Human Resources manager and Operations Manager.