FAQs for Civil & Commercial Mediation

Who makes the first move to mediate?

Either side can suggest to mediate, often setting out the benefits of mediation. If a party is not responding to the suggestion, we can make contact in a neutral capacity to gauge whether they are in fact willing to mediate.

How do you decide whether to mediate?

Either you or the Court or the other side may suggest mediation. Once the suggestion to mediate is made, a decision is required whether to mediate or not. There are lots of factors which influence each party’s decision whether to mediate; time, money, cost, perceived likelihood of settlement, desire to find a solution. If you would like to talk through your decision whether to mediate, get in touch with us.

One important issue is the financial consequence of refusing to mediate as a court may subsequently find your refusal to be unreasonable. Ignoring the proposal to mediate means that even if you win at court you may not recover all your legal costs.

Where can mediation take place?

Mediation can take place in person or remotely. A mix of remote and in person can be done when a party is overseas or unable to travel.

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.

Who should be at the mediation?

The people who need to make the decisions should attend the mediation and can be accompanied by those people who are advising them, whether business colleagues, lawyers or a friend or family member.

When is the best time to mediate?

There are different opinions. Some say soon isn’t soon enough, others say wait until the issues are clear. There is no universally accepted ‘best time’. If one party believes that settlement is possible and the other party is willing to try, then that may be the ‘best time’. Equally either party may request further information before agreeing to mediate.

What are the advantages of mediation?

It has the potential to save time, money, stress as well as reach certainty and finality about a dispute sooner rather than later.

What are the disadvantages of mediation?

Information may be revealed that a party would prefer to keep for court.

Who persuades the other side to mediate?

The Court can order a stay to provide time for the parties to mediate or one party can seek to persuade the other to mediate. In some circumstances, including before court proceedings have started, we can liaise between the parties to see whether there is a genuine willingness to mediate.

How to prepare your position statement

Preparing for a mediation contains some suggestions for what to include in your position statement.

What is our Code of Conduct

Garden Court Mediation is bound by the EU Code of Conduct for Mediators

What happens if you reach agreement?

The lawyers or individuals will draft the detail of the agreement which is likely to include reference to the agreement being in ‘full and final settlement’ of the dispute. Once signed this becomes a legally enforceable document and brings legal proceedings to an end.

What happens if there is no agreement on the day?

Depending on how far the parties have been able to narrow the issues during the mediation, the mediator may offer to remain in contact after the day of the mediation to see whether settlement can be reached.

For more detail, please contact us directly at mediationclerks@gclaw.co.uk or telephone 0207 993 7600 and we will be happy to help.

For Family Mediation, please see the separate tab.