MEDIATION

JP Fisher Consulting believe in mediation as the cheapest and most effective dispute resolution tool.

Where direct negotiation between the disputing parties fails to produce an acceptable resolution, mediation may break the impasse. Mediation is a confidential process where an independent and neutral third party, the mediator, assists the disputants to negotiate and reach a decision about their dispute.

The mediator cannot impose a decision upon the parties. However the mediator is able to assist the parties explore the issues in depth and reach the best possible joint decisions that the circumstances allow.

The mediator may talk confidentially to one party and then the other in private, exploring possible acceptable outcomes for a party which feels unable to discuss directly with the other for fear of losing negotiating strength. However the mediator will not advise either party on the acceptability or otherwise of any issue in dispute. That is the prerogative of the parties alone.

Mediation is particularly useful in disputes on ongoing construction projects where informal communication may be helpful.

It has a remarkably high success rate, of around 80%, where used in commercial disputes. It is comparatively inexpensive, requiring only the cost of the mediator to be halved between the parties. Its use has proved so successful that increasingly litigants are being required by the courts to mediate prior to the court permitting a full hearing of a case. However to wait until the steps of the court to mediate can be a costly process.

Consider mediation as early as possible after a dispute has arisen and initial negotiations are stalling. It can be implemented prior to, or in conjunction with, other forms of dispute resolution such as adjudication while the project is still under construction. While the parties must agree to participate in a mediation, that can be achieved by way of separate agreement or by a dispute resolution clause existing within a contract between the parties.

Even if mediation fails at first attempt it is often possible to structure a way forward so that second and third rounds may be reached. Keep talking.

We can provide a NMAS accredited and highly experienced mediator.