Mediation is a mutual and impartial process
The mediator is selected by the mutual agreement of the parties, because everyone must be invested in the process and comfortable with the arrangements. This will require some preliminary discussions, and fees will be discussed and agreed at this stage. We have a standard tariff that we can provide, upon request, but please bear in mind that it may be subject to negotiation, depending on the circumstances.
Once the parties are, in principle, agreed that they want to mediate, a suitable venue will be arranged, depending on the number of people involved, the most appropriate geographical location, and the complexity and likely length of the mediation. This cost will be mutually agreed and shared by the parties.
A mediation agreement will then be prepared and signed. This is a document setting down the conditions under which the mediation will take place, including confidentiality, authority to settle and privilege.
The logistics of the mediation will then be co-ordinated, covering issues such as dates, times, documentation, and whether the parties’ lawyers will be present. Please note that mediation is a process that should be led by the mediator, but is entirely voluntary. Therefore, there needs to be a high degree of consensus as to the component details.
On the day
Once the mediation starts, it usually continues until agreement is reached, or in some cases, until the parties conclude there is no realistic possibility of agreement. Most mediations involve the following steps, which may be done in caucus with everyone present, or in private, break-out sessions:-
- Initial meeting
- Gathering information concerning the dispute and identifying the issues
- Exploring the interests underlying the parties stated positions
- Developing and evaluating options that might satisfy those interests
- Reaching agreement and recording it in a settlement agreement, which is binding only once it is signed by the parties.