Nineteen Mediate is accredited by the Civil Mediation Council to provide commercial and workplace mediation services to business.
Mediation is a well-established process designed to resolve disputes. It is the most popular form of Alternative Dispute Resolution. The mediation process is informal; a mediator, who is entirely independent, acts as a facilitator to help the parties achieve an amicable resolution that is legally binding.
Court proceedings often incur substantial legal costs with no certainty of achieving a favourable outcome. Unlike court proceedings, mediations are:
- VOLUNTARY : The parties are not obliged to reach a settlement however, it allows the parties to arrive at a solution that suits them both rather than decided by Judge. Any party who is not willing to accept terms offered at a mediation has the right to pursue court proceedings.
- CONFIDENTIAL : Everything that is said at a mediation is “off-the-record”, that is, without prejudice, and cannot be referred to in any legal proceedings. The terms of settlement can also remain confidential.
- NO-ONE IS ON TRIAL : No-one gives evidence and no-one is cross-examined. The mediator does not decide the outcome – the mediator only helps the parties achieve a settlement. The parties remain in control throughout the process. A mediation saves time and therefore costly legal fees.
- EASILY ARRANGED : This can be a traditional mediation where the parties meet in person or an on-line mediation where the parties meet on screen. It takes place at the convenience of the parties (not of the court) and can be arranged at short notice.
95% of mediations end with a settlement that avoids a court appearance; though even if a settlement is not agreed mediation is seldom a wasted endeavour as it often significantly narrows the issues in a dispute.
Many commercial contracts contain a dispute escalation procedure imposing an obligation on the parties to mediate or at least consider mediation. Often failure to engage in this process can result in a costs Order being awarded against a party if the dispute ultimately ends up in Court.
The neutral third party is called the mediator.
Mediation is conducted on a ‘without prejudice’ basis. This means that the matters discussed in the mediation, or documents produced, cannot be shown to the court or otherwise employed in any litigation between the parties.
Unlike in litigation the parties and their advisers remain in complete control and ultimately decide whether and how a case will be settled. Any party to mediation can bring the mediation to a halt at any point, should they choose to do so.
In the workplace, mediation is a tool to resolve conflict or disputes. It is less formal than grievance or disciplinary procedures and seeks to provide a quick solution to individual workplace conflict and can be used at any stage.
The process aims to create a safe and confidential space for those involved to find solutions that are acceptable to them. The solution is morally not legally binding and 30-90 day markers can be set for progress reviews to ensure the parties stick to their side of the agreement.
During the process parties are encouraged to hold open conversations that would normally be too difficult to have constructively and to understand and empathise with each other’s emotions and position.
What one top tip would you give to a business owner embarking on a growth plan?
Spend time in sourcing the right (outside) partners and do not be scared to employ people better than you are.
Why is Lancashire a great place to grow a business?
Having studied to Masters Level at the University of Central Lancashire and formed Preston-based Nineteen Legal in 2011, Jane Peters knows first-hand how much support there is available in Lancashire from home grown entrepreneurs.
It’s a great community. Lancashire is a hot bed of creativity, from innovative ideas through to design and manufacture. Let’s keep it that way – it’s good “Up North”!
Why are you backing Boost?
It’s about putting something back and helping local businesses succeed and grow. These great businesses employ people, provide livelihoods, strengthen the economy and create opportunities for the next generation and beyond. The Northern Powerhouse has much to offer the UK economy.