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The Mediation Process


The Mediation Process

The mediation process is voluntary therefore all in dispute need to agree to enter into mediation, Effective Dispute Solutions Limited will use our best efforts to persuade reluctant parties to agree to mediation by highlighting its benefits; however parties cannot be forced to mediate. Once all parties have agreed we will require a brief summary of the dispute and put you in contact with a mediator who would be most suitable to help you resolve your dispute.

How does the mediation process work?

Each mediator has their own approach but will generally arrange a mediation at a convenient and mutually agreed date, time and location, most mediations are mediated at parties, or their solicitor’s offices if they are legally represented. If the parties are unable to provide the venue, then we will arrange a neutral venue which will be easily accessible to all, the cost of which will be equally shared, known and agreed by the parties before the mediation commences.

The mediation will usually commence with a joint meeting (if appropriate to do so), the mediator will introduce themselves, take care of any administrative formalities and explain the process in more detail.

The mediator will then ask each side and or their legal representatives to deliver their position statement (summary of the dispute as they see it and what they want to achieve), identifying the issues which are in disagreement and those that are not.

After this initial joint meeting the mediator will request a series of private sessions with each of the parties, moving back and forth between them to explore possibilities and clarify points bringing them together again at appropriate times.

During the final private sessions the mediator will try to reduce the differences between the parties and will seek to obtain agreement by all parties on major and minor issues. Once a solution has been reached the mediator will request that the terms of the agreement be put in writing and signed at the meeting.

Civil & Commercial Mediation Services Process

Once all parties have agreed to enter into mediation;

  1. Effective Dispute Solutions Limited will require a brief summary of the dispute and put you in contact with a civil / commercial mediator who specialises in your area of dispute who would be best suited to help you resolve your dispute.
  2. Arrange an agreed date time and location.
  3. Start the mediation usually with a joint meeting.
  4. Use a series of joint and private meetings to discuss each sides concerns with the aim to helping the parties find a solution.
  5. Once a solution has been found, to put it in writing which will become a binding contract once the parties have signed it, if Court action has started then this will usually become a Consent or Tomlin order.

Workplace & Employment Mediation Services Process

Once all parties have agreed to enter into mediation;

  1. Effective Dispute Solutions Limited will require a brief summary of the dispute and put you in contact with a workplace or employment mediator who specialises in your area of dispute and who would be most suited to help you resolve it.
  2. Arrange an agreed date time and location.
  3. Start the mediation by seeing each person separately for workplace disputes, jointly for employment disputes if possible and if a claim has been issued, otherwise the mediator will see each person separately.
  4. Use a series of joint and private meetings to discuss each sides concerns with the aim to helping the parties find a solution.
  5. Once a solution has been found, the mediator will draft an agreement to include details of what all parties will do going forward. The agreement is based upon trust, and is not legally binding for workplace disputes.

In the case of an employment dispute once a solution has been found, it will usually be put into writing which will become a binding contract once the parties have signed it, if Court, tribunal action has started then this will usually become a Consent or Tomlin order.

Family Mediation Services Process

Once all parties have agreed to enter into mediation;

  1. Effective Dispute Solutions Limited will require a brief summary of the dispute and put you in contact with a family mediator who specialises in your area of dispute and would be most suitable to help you resolve your dispute.
  2. Arrange an agreed date time and location.
  3. Start the mediation usually with a joint meeting, unless it’s a divorce or separation matter in which case the mediator may see parties separately and at different times initially.
  4. Use a series of joint and private meetings to discuss each sides concerns with the aim to helping the parties find a solution within 1 day, (divorce and separation cases may take a number of sessions over a few months).
  5. Once a solution has been found, to put it in writing which will become a binding contract once the parties have signed it, if Court action has started then this will usually become a Consent or Tomlin order.

For divorce or separation matters once an agreement has been made, it will be put into writing and be given to you in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding which outlines what was agreed at the mediation, it is important to note that the document is legally privileged so it cannot be used later in Court as evidence, however it is not legally binding. To make it into a legally binding agreement your solicitors would need to advise you and help you draw up such an agreement.

If you do not agree with the mediator

The mediator has no power to decide or impose their solution upon you, they are simply there at your invitation to help you negotiate your own settlement and facilitate the process in an impartial and non judgemental manner.

If, during the mediation, you do not like the way it is going you are free to leave and will not have committed yourself in any way unless you wish to have done so, as mediation is on a without prejudice basis your legal rights are not affected.

There is no obligation to agree to anything you are not entirely happy with, any agreement made will be your agreement, the mediator simply guides you towards it. If an agreement cannot be reached you are still free to pursue Court or other formal processes to resolve your dispute.

Will mediation work?

Mediation is a highly flexible and successful process, most mediations settle, if not on the day shortly after, although there is no guarantee of success, the more the parties are committed to finding a solution the more likely the mediation is to be successful.