What is said at a mediation stays at the mediation. If a mediated settlement is not reached on the day, information disclosed and discussed at the mediation cannot be used in court proceedings. Within the mediation, what one party says to the mediator is not disclosed to the other party without the mediator being given express consent to do so.
In a civil, commercial or workplace dispute, no-one is forced to mediate. Family mediation is also voluntary but it is necessary to attend a MIAM (Mediation Information Assessment Meeting) before commencing private law proceedings. Parties can choose how to settle their dispute and are free to bring the process to an end if it ceases to be beneficial.
A neutral mediator or two co-mediators facilitate discussion between the parties to a dispute. The independence of the mediator means she or he has no stake in the outcome. The mediator does not suggest how the dispute can be solved or give advice on the law. The mediator does however check the reality of each parties’ position, question their desired result and test the feasibility of their agreement.
Mediation can take place across a corridor or country. Provided the means of communication are available, parties can be in the same building, same room or can communicate via a telephone, video, or Skype. Mediation can take place here in Chambers or our mediators can travel to a mutually agreed venue if the parties prefer.