Frequently Asked Questions
Is mediation difficult to do?
Mediation is an easy process to begin. The mediator will start by arranging 1:1 sessions, then joint meetings.
Mediation is voluntary and anyone involved can decide to leave at any time. We also take a break during meetings, so people can reflect on what’s been said.
Will I get cross examined and asked some really awkward questions?
You might be asked questions by other people involved in the meeting. You decide whether you want to answer.
Will I get a better outcome if I decide to go to court?
Mediation is generally less expensive, faster and less complicated than going to court. In the majority of cases mediation will lead to a full or partial solution of the issues people are facing.
In cases where people can’t agree on a mediated solution, they are free to go to court without what’s been said in mediation being used as evidence (mediation is held ‘without prejudice’).
Can I go to court if the other person refuses mediation?
The court will expect everyone involved in a dispute to have tried mediation first, unless they have a good reason not to.
If someone unreasonably refuses mediation (in the opinion of the court), the court can award legal costs against them. The court also has the power to send a case back to mediation (even after proceedings have begun), if it feels nobody has tried hard enough to make mediation work.
Can I ask Questions?
Yes, you can ask questions about the things that are important to you. The other person in the dispute must decide whether they will answer them.
Do I need to have a solicitor or barrister with me for a mediation meeting?
No, but we would advise that you do receive legal advice before taking part in mediation, as it is important to know where you stand legally, especially if someone makes you an offer.
We can recommend legal representatives who work with us, if you don’t already have legal advice.
How quickly can mediation be set up?
Generally we can begin the process within a week (if all the parties involved are available).
How long does mediation take?
It depends on how complex the issues are, how many people are involved and how ready people are to settle.
Probate, trust, LPA and family business mediation generally take about a day. Half a day in 1:1 meetings and half a day in a joint meeting.
Family mediation initial meetings (MIAM’s) take one hour for each person and about 4-5 joint meetings (1.5 hours each).
What Does a Mediated Agreement Look Like?
Mediated agreements are built on the words the people involved agree on. They are voluntary, but can be converted into a legally binding agreement by a solicitor, if required.
What if the other person does not stick to our agreement?
If you have not made the agreement legally binding, you are free to ask the court to consider your case. If you have had your mediation agreement converted into a court order, you ask the court to enforce its terms.
How do I approach the other person about mediation?
You can offer them the opportunity to get involved in mediation verbally, by email or letter (we would suggest ‘signed for’ post). Or we can invite them to a 1:1 meeting.
Are all cases suitable for mediation?
The majority of cases referred to us are suitable for mediation.
If there is a point of law to be decided by a court or if there are concerns about safeguarding, then mediation may not be suitable. We’ll tell you if the case is unsuitable.
Will I see my name and the details of the dispute in the press?
Mediation is confidential. Everyone involved in mediation has to sign a confidentiality agreement and so your identity, and the details of the dispute, should remain confidential.