The Value of Mediation to Commercial & Civil Disputes

The value of mediation to commercial and civil disputes is that it enables parties to reframe their dispute in a holistic fashion that takes into account the cost of litigation, including the personal emotional investment, and the prospect of successfully moving on from the dispute whilst maintaining ongoing relationships intact.

GCM mediators are experts at speedily getting to grips with vast quantities of documents and facts.  It is innate to our professional practice that we are able to assimilate huge volumes of information rapidly, and from that, to know what are the key questions to ask and how to ask them.

Walking through the door of court makes any litigant a hostage to fortune; in contrast, mediation enables the parties to maintain control of the dispute’s outcome.  You the participant are better able to manage the conversation and consequences because you are not tied to formal pleadings or court-based remedies (generally limited to monetary compensation only).  You decide if and how you want to compromise your case (having recognised that conciliation and agreement is preferable to remaining in dispute). The GCM mediator creatively builds bridges which enables participants to retreat from painful and damaging conflict, and to do so in a timely way.  When required, the GCM mediator acts as a buffer to generating space for rational appraisal when a participant feels under fire or detects that there is a power imbalance.

Smart litigants, or potential litigants, will use mediation at the beginning of a dispute to nip energy-sapping potential litigation in the bud.  They recognise that, although a civil and commercial matter is expressed in pounds and pence, there is always a high personal cost to litigating, and that cost is borne by the lost time and energy of the individuals concerned as well as by the administrative burden on the business or enterprise itself.  Mediation is far more adept at dealing with those dimensions of dispute resolution than are the court services.

It is said that “Business is not about who you know, but who you don’t know”.  As in the rest of life, in business, relationships are sacrosanct.  The mediation process is predicated on preserving and indeed enhancing business relationships by maintaining respect and trust, which is key to all successful commercial activity; this being in contrast to the “winner takes all” mentality of court processes which breeds bitter resentment.  Mediation, with the help of a GCM mediator, is far more suited to the fair and respectful resolution of civil and commercial disputes than the blunt instrument of civil litigation.

Garden Court Chambers were recently nationally recognised and awarded for being the leading Chambers in terms of diversity.  Garden Court members take on multiple additional roles connected to their key barrister responsibilities, as a result of which, the Garden Court Mediation team includes a diversity of professional and life experience: board directorships, charities, housing specialists, part-time judges, academics, mental health specialists, probate experience, often complex family relationships and working knowledge of running family businesses, personal injury and clinical negligence specialists with deep knowledge of medical practice, to name a few.  Team members have diverse life histories with varying cultural backgrounds.

You can be confident that your GCM mediator will investigate robustly every avenue to create an environment where a solution to a damaging conflict can naturally evolve.  The GCM team members are well able to mediate disputes where potential litigants do not have the resources to instruct lawyers; a GCM mediator is able to maintain a level playing field when applying their expertise, due to having frequently dealt with litigants-in-person in different contexts.

Garden Court Chambers have beautiful rooms overlooking the gardens of Lincolns Inn Fields, where in-person mediations can take place in a friendly welcoming atmosphere although, the majority of mediation clients choose to have their mediation take place using Zoom.  GCM mediators are highly experienced and adept at using technology, thus saving travel and accommodation costs for participants.