Mediation is the involvement of an impartial third party to facilitate negotiations, discussions, consensus building, problem solving, relationship building or to manage existing or potential difficulties in a wide variety of situations.
The benefits of having an impartial mediator include the ability to reduce the risk of confrontation, to provide a moderating influence and to provide summaries of points made and positions reached.
Collis Mediation Ltd has experience in facilitating dialogue in a diverse range of demanding situations. Our partners have a unique skill-set combining extensive mediator practice, professional background and industry knowledge.
Our mediation processes are designed to fit the needs of their users. The aim of a neutral mediator may be to:
Unlike arbitration or court, mediation is a less formal meeting where an impartial mediator encourages parties to consider various related issues to the dispute. The process includes time spent individually with each party and where appropriate a collective discussion so each may consider the others position.
The process requires a solution based approach by the parties and an open mind to consider the other parties concerns.
Mediation is moving closer to being an obligation to undertake in the British Justice System pre court; and we are seeing signs of a more mandatory mediation model developing. Indeed the Civil Procedure Rules part 1 encourages mediation prior to court if appropriate; and in 2011 the Ministry of Justice issued a press release indicating an increase in future use of mediation and suggested an automatic referral to mediation prior to court.
If you chose Collis Mediation Ltd as your mediation provider, we allocate the most suitable mediator for your case. The allocated mediator will then introduce themselves by way of a 'Letter of Appointment'.
Within this letter, they will ensure there is not a 'conflict of interest'. The mediator will confirm this check in a written statement, which may resemble this:-
"I do not know any of the parties in the dispute. I may know of the companies they represent; however I do not believe I am conflicted in anyway".
The mediator will also request the parties present at the mediation will have the authority to settle on the day, should the opportunity arise.
The mediator will then describe their role as a mediator, such as this:-
"My role is to use my skills and experience to facilitate a resolution. I will not comment on or judge anything. I will listen carefully to everything that is said and use the information to assist in building a solution you are comfortable with. I will not provide legal advice however I will provide time for you to take legal advice during mediation, should you request this".
The mediator will explain they are happy to receive a copy of confidential information prior to the mediation. This may include you setting out how a settlement might look. This information will most likely be destroyed prior to the mediation once they have read and understood it.
Prior to the mediation you may wish to send as much information as you think would be helpful in allowing the mediator to understand the full dispute and what you hope to achieve. This information may be a list of key dates and/ or events, proof of agreements or anything related to the dispute.
It is up to you if you wish to share this information on the day. If there is anything you wish to remain strictly confidential, you should ensure it is packed separately and marked 'Confidential'.
You do not need to prepare anything such as a trial bundle, but it can be helpful in illustrating your reasoning, to prepare skeleton arguments, chronologies and the like, to refer to.
Finally the introduction letter will include an 'Agreement to Mediate', which will require signing and returning prior to mediation. Please see an example of an Agreement to Mediate here. When agrreing to mediate, the most up to date agreement will be forwarded for signature.
The Letter of Appointment will also give an overview of the mediation process.
The mediation process is not a 'courtroom', judgemental atmosphere. It is a process of exploring points of dispute, any underlying matters and how these can be discussed to find a mutually agreeable solution.
This is facilitated by discussions in both open and private sessions. Anything discussed in private session is strictly confidential and will not be disclosed to the other party unless you expressly authorise the mediator to do so.
It is usual for the mediator to complete a formal introduction which is then followed by a general summary of the dispute by each party; and what they wish to achieve from the mediation. The mediator can suggest how the discussions take place on the day, for how long and in what format.
This is your mediation and the mediator is there to provide a platform for the process to work so parties should bear in mind that they must concentrate on solutions and settlements and not simply re-count historical events that got them there.
The mediator will encourage 'forthright exchanges', within the bounds of civility to ensure all matters have been discussed.
If the parties reach settlement, the legal representatives of the parties, or the parties themselves will be asked to construct a simple agreement.
Any agreement reached in mediation will not be legally binding until the agreement is written and signed. If either party does not comply with the signed agreement, the other party may use this in any subsequent legal proceedings.
If there has not been settlement, the parties may agree to enter into overtime. There will be added expense for this and the details will be within the Letter of Appointment. Collis Mediation Ltd ask all of our mediators to be reasonable in applying the overtime requirement when overtime is appropriate. This judgement call will be dependent on how close the mediator feels settlement is.
Should settlement not be reached and overtime not be mutually agreed between the parties, the mediation will be terminated by the mediator and the mediation will end.
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Collis Mediation launches their SEN Support Platform and SEN Consultancy Services for local authorities