A Mediator helps parties in dispute to negotiate a mutually acceptable settlement.
Mediation is not Arbitration
Mediation is not arbitration – which is a process by which a third party decides the issues in dispute and imposes that decision on the parties.
Parties trying to negotiate a settlement without a mediator often operate in an atmosphere of conflict, mistrust and posturing. They rarely communicate what they really want from the process.
Mediation is a legally binding process (should settlement be achieved) with parties drawing up a mutually agreed Settlement Agreement on the day of mediation, or shortly afterwards.
A Mediator is able to discuss confidentially with each party their true concerns and the outcome they could really live with. The process is entirely ‘without prejudice’ so nothing discussed during the mediation can be revealed to the court or arbitrator if the parties fail to settle.
Mediation offers parties an opportunity (often their last) to decide the outcome of their dispute themselves – rather than leaving the outcome to a judge or arbitrator. There is also likely to be a significant saving in legal costs.