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How do we do it?

Mediation is not simply ‘getting the parties around the table’ to talk things through. Indeed, this is probably the worst approach, since the mediator will learn very little from a joint session in this type of format. In fact, mediation is a very structured approach comprising the following key stages:-

Preliminary Contact

The Mediator makes contact with the disputing parties to outline the process of mediation and to gather information to prepare the Mediation Agreement governing the terms of the process of mediation.

Written Submissions

Parties to the Mediation Process submit their written summaries of the case (without prejudice) to the mediator.

Initial private meetings

Brief meetings on the day of mediation to establish protocols for the day and address any initial concerns.

Joint meeting/Opening Statements

The Mediator outlines the process of mediation, which is followed by opening statements from the parties. Key issues for resolution may be defined.

Private and confidential meetings

Key issues are explored. The Mediator may convey feelings between parties. The mediator may act as a negotiator between the parties as settlement approaches.

Joint meeting/Conclusion

As settlement approaches it may be necessary to conduct joint meetings to focus the parties on the key issues.

Settlement

When the parties have reached agreement, a Settlement Agreement and Tomlin Order is prepared which sets out the terms of the agreement and also to ‘stay’ further legal action.

 

In most cases, the mediation itself only lasts for one day (sometimes 2 days, but rarely more). Whilst some preparation is required, mediation in itself is relatively quick. Therefore, this also means that mediation is also relatively cheap. Typically, the parties will share the cost of mediation on the basis that both parties have willingly entered into mediation. All in all, mediation is quick, cheap and most importantly, effective at resolving disputes.

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned” Buddhist Quote