Mediation

Hayes + Storr Mediation Services

Hayes + Storr provide fully accredited mediation services for individuals and businesses of all sizes. Mediation is the most commonly used form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) which is actively encouraged by the courts in resolving conflicts. It costs a lot less than going to court and takes less time.

Often disputes can be resolved on the day of the mediation. In contrast, court proceedings can take months or even years to reach a settlement. Mediation can usually be arranged within a few weeks and is a confidential process unlike a trial.

We provide ADR Group accredited civil and commercial mediation, recognised by the Civil Mediation Council. Our mediation is always provided by a highly qualified Solicitor with specialist experience of civil and commercial litigation.

We understand the negative impact conflicts can have on your business and personal life, which is why we are committed to providing a dedicated, impartial mediation service for a whole range of areas, including:

• Agricultural matters
• Boundary disputes
• Commercial disputes
• Contentious probate
• Debt disputes
• Employment disputes
• Family disputes
• Intellectual Property
• Landlord/Tenant
• Medical negligence
• Neighbour disputes
• Neighbourhood issues
• Property disputes
• Professional negligence

What is mediation?

Disputes can arise for a variety of reasons both with individuals and businesses alike. Mediation is a flexible, voluntary and confidential form of alternative dispute resolution in which a neutral third party (the mediator) assists parties to work towards a negotiated settlement of their dispute, with the parties retaining control of the decision on whether or not to settle and on what terms.

Mediation provides a private forum in which the parties can gain a better understanding of each other’s positions and work together to explore options for resolution. Most commonly, mediation is used to narrow issues in dispute, to prevent conflict from spreading, and to resolve disputes. The mediation process allows more creativity and flexibility over settlement options than the court or arbitration process.

Timing

Mediation can be attempted at any time whether you are in the initial stages of a dispute or where Court proceedings have already been issued. By engaging in mediation you are giving yourself the opportunity to try to resolve the issues without having to incur the potentially unnecessary costs of Court or Tribunal proceedings.

Courts and Tribunals actively encourage parties in dispute to attempt to reach a settlement through mediation before proceeding to Court.  In fact, Courts and Tribunals look unfavourably on parties that refuse to attempt mediation to resolve their dispute.

The mediator’s role in resolving a dispute

A single mediator is appointed and agreed upon by both lawyers acting for each party. The mediator will not act in an advisory role for either side. The mediator is as a neutral third party assisting both parties to work towards a negotiated settlement of the dispute and will not decide either party’s case on its merits but will work with both sides to facilitate an agreement. Although the parties will be responsible for decision-making during the mediation, and will control the outcome, the mediator controls the procedure to ensure that it is structured in a way that is fair to all parties.

What happens at a typical mediation?

The process is entirely flexible. The parties have active participation throughout the day and will control the outcome. It is a  voluntary process and the parties are free to withdraw from the mediation at any time.

The mediator usually has initial discussions with the parties and their lawyers in advance of the mediation to ensure that all formalities have been complied with, and to identify the key issues.

On the day of mediation, upon arrival the mediator will greet the parties and show each party to their own private room. The mediation can begin either with a joint meeting at which all parties attend or by individual private sessions. These initial meetings allow all parties to understand the process, their role and the procedure. Each party then has an opportunity to privately meet with the mediator to discuss the problem confidentially. This allows each party to be open and honest and have a realistic look at their position in private, without fear that any weaknesses discussed will be communicated to other parties. Thereafter the mediator will go between the rooms, further considering each party’s position with them to try and facilitate a settlement.

When a settlement has been reached it will be recorded in a written agreement which is signed by all parties to confirm the outcome. The signed agreement will be copied and each party retains a copy for their records.

As all discussions which take place are confidential and entirely without prejudice, if matters cannot be settled on the day of mediation, nothing which has been discussed can be used by either party against the other in future discussions. What is discussed in mediation stays in mediation.

Which disputes are suitable for mediation?

Almost any dispute is suitable for mediation as long as both parties are willing to engage in the process. Mediation is becoming the preferred and most common route in resolving many different kinds of conflict.

Mediation Team

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