Mediation is now an increasingly important alternative to litigation as a mechanism of dispute resolution. The mediation process takes place within a formal structure where an independent mediator facilitates a meeting or meetings between parties in dispute with a view to the parties themselves reaching an agreement as to how a dispute is best resolved. Unlike litigation/arbitration the purpose of mediation is not to have a third party (judge / arbitrator) impose a solution but rather to facilitate the parties reaching their own settlement.
The essential elements of a mediation are:
- Voluntary – the parties decide in advance of the mediation that they wish to attend and are under no compulsion to do so;
- Confidential – information disclosed to a mediator in a mediation will not be disclosed to another party to the mediation (or indeed anyone else) without express permission to do so;
- Without Prejudice – unless a mediation reaches a settlement the mediation is carried out on a without prejudice basis i.e. any offers to settle can not be used subsequently by one party against another in litigation / arbitration proceedings.
Mediation is increasingly being used by lawyers and HR consultants as a cost effective and very successful means of settling existing disputes and avoiding impending disputes.
At Purdy FitzGerald Solicitors we will advise parties to a dispute and attend as that party’s legal representative at a mediation.
With appropriately qualified personnel in this area we will also provide the services of a mediator to parties in dispute and arrange all aspects of a mediation.