Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution which is voluntary but actively encouraged by the courts throughout the litigation process. It has become increasingly important in recent years as it allows parties to remain in control and to settle their disputes cost effectively and confidentially on a without prejudice basis.
Mediation begins with parties to a dispute agreeing to mediate, setting ground rules and selecting a mediator. The mediation then involves parties trying to understand what is important to each side, clarifying what is negotiatable, exchanging information and identifying and exploring possible solutions. At the end of a successful mediation, parties will put their solutions and agreement down on paper.
The mediator selected by the parties should be a neutral third person who will be able to assist the parties in negotiating a settlement to their dispute. The mediator’s role is to facilitate discussion between the parties by helping them to explore their respective positions and to identify possible solutions. In facilitating discussion the mediator will emphasise the rules and the process and will offer parties the opportunity to speak with him separately should this be desired. Ultimately it is the parties themselves who decide whether to settle and, if so, on what terms.
At Expert Evidence we are experienced in providing mediation services, recently successfully mediating a dispute over hire purchase agreements for commercial vehicles. We are able to supply a CEDR Accredited Mediator to act on disputes in a wide range of sectors, and we are also able to offer our financial experts to act as witnesses, advisers or consultants to aid the mediation process in appropriate cases.