- Legal 500 2020
How long does a mediation take?
Most mediations are completed within one day. More complex and multi-party disputes are sometimes mediated over two days.
Where does the mediation take place?
This is for the parties to decide. If Patrick Walker is appointed he can usually arrange for an independent venue convenient to the parties and at modest cost.The most cost efficient and often most effective choice is to mediate on-line. This enables all parties to mediate from the comfort of their own home or office and without losing travel time and incurring travel and venue costs. The on-line platform provide secure private rooms for each party and it is easy for documents to be shared and annotated on screen. On-line mediation became popular following the Covid pandemic and continues to offer the additional benefits of avoiding risks to health or of transport disruption.
At what stage is mediation appropriate?
It is not necessary for the parties to be close to trial; in fact many disputes are resolved at an early stage and before substantial legal costs are incurred. It is necessary to have sufficient information about each party’s case to assess the strengths and weaknesses of each.
How do I choose a mediator?
Mediators may or may not also be qualified lawyers. Many mediators are trained by independent organisations such as CEDR (Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution) or ADR Group. You should also consider whether it would assist for the mediator to have some understanding of your type of dispute. Some experienced mediators will be able to assist in a wide variety of disputes and will be happy to tell you when they do not consider themselves suitable.
What if I am not sure about who to appoint?
Patrick Walker is always happy to discuss parties’ requirements on a confidential basis (contact Patrick.Walker@imediate.co.uk). If further assistance is required parties may wish to consult with the advisers at IPOS (In Place of Strife) at www.mediate.co.uk.
Can I appoint Patrick Walker directly?
Yes, just send an email or call the number listed on the contact page. Patrick will provide a mediation agreement and guidance checklist. Some parties prefer to use the services of a provider organisation and Patrick can also be appointed through IPOS.
Please note that the fee for appointment via IPOS will include an administrative charge.
What happens on the day?
A private room is provided for each party in which discussions can take place with complete confidentiality, with and without the presence of the mediator. There will also be a room in which the parties can meet and exchange views and ideas.Each party has complete control over what is disclosed by them or by the mediator, to the other party. The mediator’s
communication skills will help the parties decide how and when information and argument can best be used to achieve the settlement they want.
Most successful mediations take a considerable time. Refreshments and food are usually provided but if you have special dietary requirements you should warn your legal advisers and the mediator in advance. There is no need to dress formally and you should be as comfortable as possible!
Whilst the mediator will ask for telephones to be switched off during meetings between the parties, and landline phones are often provided, you may wish to bring your mobile phone. You are always free to ‘phone a friend’!
If an agreement is reached it is binding only when it is recorded in writing and signed by the parties. Sometimes it is practical only to agree ‘heads of terms’ and the formal agreement is drafted later but generally it is better to leave the mediation with a binding agreement.
If no agreement is reached the mediator will discuss the progress which has been made and may suggest another meeting or telephone discussions during which the gap between parties can be further narrowed down. Even where agreement is not reached on the day the mediation process usually increases each party’s awareness and understanding of the other party’s case and it is common for agreement to be reached a few days later.
What if I am not satisfied with the service I receive?
We aim to provide a very high standard of service both in the mediation and in respect of administration and have excellent feedback. If you are dissatisfied in any way, please do telephone Patrick Walker on 07912 888851. Alternatively please email firstname.lastname@example.org including your full name, the names of all the parties in the mediation, the date of the mediation, and any documents relevant to your concerns. We will provide a response within 14 days and invite further discussion as to what can be done to meet your concerns.If you are not satisfied with those discussions, we will enter into mediation with you or refer the matter to Civil Mediation Council (see www.civilmediation.org ). The Council will normally appoint an experience mediator to help resolve your complaint.