The Benefits of Mediation
People involved in Commercial disputes who are considering using mediation as a way to resolve their differences often want to know what the process offers. Whilst mediation cannot guarantee specific results, there are trends that are characteristic of mediation:
Significantly Reduced Costs
Costs incurred in Mediation are a fraction of those involved in litigation. Compared to proceeding to a court hearing Mediation is very inexpensive, both in monetary and personal terms.
Significantly Shorter Time Frame
When parties want to get on with business or their lives, mediation may be desirable as a means of producing rapid results. Mediation can be scheduled within a very short timeframe. It can be soon after a commercial dispute arises or at any time throughout an on-going commercial dispute. Following the pre-mediation processes and agreements, it can often be concluded in a single day.
Mediation helps the parties to communicate with each other. Mediation is an interest-driven process based on consensus and collaborative agreement. Mediation helps the parties to explore the issues which are of real importance to them. The parties are encouraged to find ways to address their present and future needs, rather than dwell upon who may have been right or wrong in the past.
As the process of mediation is based on mutual agreement, the mediator does not impose a decision, nor make any kind of judgment – unlike court or arbitration, the mediator helps the parties to find their own, mutually acceptable solution.
Mediation belongs to the Parties. The parties to a dispute remain in control of the outcome and of any potential resolutions as well as having the right to end the mediation at any time should the process reach stalemate.
Helps to Preserve Relationships
Mediation works towards long-term solutions for the Parties in dispute, and where there is an ongoing relationship places significant emphasis on how they will interact in the future
The confidential nature of mediation allows the Parties to negotiate freely and productively without fear of publicity. All those participating in a mediation are protected by a confidentiality agreement which is signed by all parties and witnesses before the mediation begins All notes and documents that are in the possession of the mediator are destroyed at the end of the mediation.
Mediation is “Without prejudice”
The mediation process is ‘without prejudice’ so that on the rare occasion that a settlement is not reached litigation may continue without the parties needing to worry about having given away anything that the other could use against them or in court. As part of the mediation agreement it is agreed that the mediator cannot appear as a witness for either party in the event of any future court proceedings.
Always Leaves Other Options Open
Engagement in a mediated intervention does not preclude participation in a different dispute resolution process. If an agreement is reached, parties should be made aware that the agreement can be made legally binding. If the mediation fails to result in a comprehensive solution on the day, the process of mediation invariably provides insights and understandings – even partial agreements – which may encourage and support continued negotiation after the mediation.
Promotes use of Creative Solutions
Mediation allows for creative solutions which may not be available in other court based approaches.
High Settlement Potential
Settlement potential is high and there are benefits to participating in the process for all.