This is the page where we answer the most frequently asked questions.
This page has been designed to answer the common questions that we get asked. We hope that you find it useful. However, if you have a question which is not included here, please do not hesitate to contact us by email or phone and we will do our best to answer it for you. Many thanks, The Mediation Company Team!
WHAT IS MEDIATION?
Mediation is a process of dispute resolution facilitated by a neutral third party. Unlike other dispute resolution processes, such as arbitration or litigation, the mediator has no authority and will remain objective throughout. Mediation is confidential. All notes taken during mediation will be destroyed by the mediator once mediation concludes.
The parties reach their own agreement supported by the mediator. The mediation process includes private meetings with the mediator and a joint meeting between the parties (face to face or online). The mediator does not determine (reach a judgement) on behalf of one of other parties and the agreement reached in mediation is done so by the parties themselves. The outcome of mediation is made in good faith and is flexible. The outcome of a mediation can be made legally binding, if both parties agree to do so and both parties sign the agreement.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF MEDIATION?
That’s a big question, They are numerous benefits that mediation brings and in each circumstance those benefits can be different. However, we have mediated in hundreds, if not thousands of disputes. Below are the top 3 benefits that people have told us they find so powerful and beneficial about the mediation process:
- Mediation protects the relationship. Mediation is collaborative in nature and in practice. People tell us that that they can still trade, communicate and work with each other after mediation has concluded.
- Mediation is swifter than more formal forms of justice. In just one day (or sometimes less), the underlying issues can be resolved, financial arguments can be settled and people can get on with their lives.
- Mediation puts the parties in the driving seat. The parties to the dispute are in control of the negotiation and the resolution. This is very different from litigation where control is sub-contracted to third parties.
WHEN CAN MEDIATION BE USED?
There is no right or wrong time to mediate and one thing is for certain, it is never, ever too late. Mediation can be used at any stage of a dispute. In most disputes, the sooner that mediation is used, the lesser the impact on the relationship. Mediation can also be used once formal proceedings have been commenced as an alternative to costly and stressful litigation. It can also be used as soon as a complaint or a concern is raised to resolve the underlying issues and to better understand its causes and impact.
WHAT ISSUES ARE SUITABLE FOR MEDIATION?
Mediation is so flexible that it can be used to resolve pretty much every form of dispute imaginable. At the Mediation Company, our professional and TCM Accredited mediators have worked with a wide range of disputes including, but not limited to:
- disputes between business partners and shareholders
- disputes in family run businesses
- disputes with public bodies and regulators
- disputes within the third sector and charities (We have a partnership with ACEVOwho recommend our mediation services to their members)
- small claims cases
- contractual infringements
- boundary disputes
- entertainment and media disputes
- construction and engineering disputes
- transportation disputes – marine, trains, road, aviation and energy
- copyright and intellectual property rights
- building disputes
- inheritance, wills and probate disputes
- insurance and reinsurance claims
- financial disputes
- consumer complaints
- workplace and employment disputes
- sport related disputes
- disputes within churches and religious organisations
HOW DOES MEDIATION WORK?
The Mediation Company uses the award winning FAIR Mediation Model™. Facilitate. Appreciate. Innovate. Resolve. All of our mediators are TCM Accredited and undertake regular continuing professional development (CPD).
The mediation process is flexible and we have set out a typical mediation process below. Mediation typically lasts a half day or a full day. However in some cases, the process runs over several days. Our fee structure (see previous tab) takes account of the need for flexibility.
The mediation process in nutshell:
We receive an instruction to mediate from the parties to the dispute. We get the logistics, objectives fees and contracts agreed at this stage to avoid any future confusion.
We will speak to each party by phone or video call before mediation commences to introduce ourselves and to answer questions.
We ask the parties to complete a pre-mediation checklist to bring with them to the mediation.
We meet each party separately to explore the past the present and their needs and hopes for the future. We also explore the impact and the root cause of the dispute. This promotes a process of reflective thinking, insight and wisdom (whoops! we said no jargon. What we mean is it gives everyone a chance to calm, down, reflect and think more clearly).
The mediator and the parties meet at a joint meeting to make opening statements, to ask questions and seek clarification on each others positions.
The parties have a short break to consider their positions, interests and needs.
The parties meet again to explore the issues in more depth and to begin creating their agreement. At this stage we are helping the parties to achieve a mutually acceptable outcome – a win/win situation.
The mediator will help the parties to draft the agreement. If the parties wish to sign the agreement, it becomes legally binding.
The mediator will support the parties in the days, weeks and months after mediation concludes. For instance. We sometimes find in a small number of cases that mediation concludes without an agreement. However, the next day, after a good nights sleep, the positions change and the parties wish to reopen a negotiation. This is perfectly normal and the mediator will facilitate this through emails, phone calls and further meetings as necessary (online or face to face).
We ask all parties for their feedback and we ask them to leave a review of their experience on TrustPilot.
WHERE DOES MEDIATION HAPPEN?
Mediation traditionally happens face to face in a neutral venue. However, we are seeing more and more cases successfully mediated using video conferencing such as Zoom or MS Teams. Our mediators will work with you to decide which is the best method for mediating in your specific circumstances. We have mediators based all over the UK and of course, with the continuous development of videoconferencing technology, we can mediate anywhere in the world.
For London based disputes, we recommend the purpose built mediation facilities at The TCM Academy in Islington.
WHO ATTENDS THE MEDIATION?
The general rule of thumb is the less people who are in mediation the better. So, as a minimum, that would mean the two disputing parties and the mediator. In some cases, parties wish to have a lawyer or an advocate present. In these cases, the advocate will attend mediation but will not attend the joint meeting, except in exceptional circumstances. We have mediated in cases where parties require a translator or a signer. This will be agreed with all parties beforehand but poses no significant challenges.