What is Mediation?

Mediation is a process where the parties decide on a date to discuss their dispute and can bring it to an end. The qualified mediator helps the parties come to an agreement. Parties may or may not be in the same room during the mediation and often spend a significant amount of time in private sessions with the mediator.

The mediator is not a judge and is not allowed to give any of the parties legal advice. The mediator stays neutral and makes no decisions about who is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. The mediator listens to what issues are keeping the dispute alive and facilitates the parties in working out how the dispute may be resolved in a satisfactory settlement.

Whatever the subject of the dispute, once parties agree to mediate, the prospect of reaching a mediated settlement is a real one. Many mediations are concluded within one working day.


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.

Independent Mediation

A neutral mediator or two co-mediators facilitate discussion between the parties to a dispute. The independence of the mediator means she or he or they have 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.

Where does mediation take place?

Remote mediation: Mediation can take place remotely, via Zoon.  Where parties seek to resolve their dispute and the means of communication are available, mediators can help parties reach settlement.  For those choosing remote mediation, our mediators can spend time with the parties before the mediation date to demonstrate how the technology can support the dispute resolution process and how breakout rooms allow parties to have their own private space for confidential discussion.

In person mediation at Garden Court Chambers: The use of three rooms at our offices in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Holborn is included within the mediation fee. Refreshments are available throughout the day and lunch can be provided if booked 48 hours in advance.

In person mediation at another venue: The use of rooms and refreshments at a venue other than our own or that of a involved party is possible. If a cost is incurred this would be split between parties. Travel costs may be incurred but this would be considered at the enquiry stage. If local to the mediator or within reason the mediator may not wish to pass on this cost.

On site mediation/site visit: Where appropriate a mediator and observer can visit the site of a dispute. This can allow parties to offer their perspective on how the dispute has arisen. The mediation itself can then take place remotely or in person. If an appropriate space is available on site then mediation can continue immediately.