Mediation is a very good alternative to costly legal action, but due to the confidential nature of the meetings (which is one of its key advantages), the actual process itself can be a bit of a mystery.
Our Director is a trained Mediator and she recalls fondly, the look on people’s faces when she tells them what she does and why she enjoys doing it.
“Why would you enjoy trying to get two people who blatantly don’t like each other to get on?”
That’s the point about mediation, it’s not about two parties liking each other, it’s about navigating the conversation in fair and objective way, so that they can reach an agreement, ideally before going to court.
Mediation is a highly skilled area of conflict resolution. The role of a mediator is to facilitate that meeting to ensure there is an environment were both parties feel comfortable. Within that, there needs to be and understanding that the mediator’s role is not to pass judgement or offer advice, but to use their specialist expertise to help negotiate an amicable resolution that both parties can be happy with. Sounds easy right?
Now that’s mediation on a good day.
On a bad day, you can find that individuals are so entrenched in their positions that the conversation never moves to a resolution. Instead the same issues are brought up (or even different issues that have nothing to do with why the mediation meeting was called in the first place) and neither party is willing to concede. Emotions are high and it can be physically and mentally draining to try and referee both sides, when really you just want to bang your head on the table and ask ‘why can’t you both just get along?’
We know, we understand and we can take that pain away from you.
Mediation is grossly underutilised
We act as mediators in a variety of settings, from employment issues to civil disputes. Mediation is underutilised in our view as it can really help ‘nip things in the bud.’ The biggest saving however, is in relation to not having a case escalated to legal proceedings.
Most mediation meetings can be concluded in between 3 – 5 sessions (in exceptional circumstances) and last about an hour and half each time. Formal mediation can cost up to £450 per 90 minute session so if you multiply that by 5 sessions, this equates to £2,250 in total. To go to court with this same issue, you should expect to pay your solicitors anything between £5,000 and £8,000 and this is purely to get to the hearing stage. The costs increase substantially if anyone contests the final hearing.
Don’t wait until things get out of hand before you ask for help.
Many people don’t realise that you can suggest mediation at any stage. Particularly if you are thinking of using us to mediate a situation that has arisen at work. If someone has raised a grievance, you can suggest a mediation meeting as a suitable alternative to a formal process. We find that this can diffuse the emotion surrounding the issues and people are less likely to feel aggrieved because they’ve had the opportunity to discuss their issues with someone who is truly impartial and not connected to the organisation in any way. These issues can usually reach an agreeable outcome in a few sessions, thus saving your hard working HR department time and money in dealing with a long drawn out grievance process.
We also mediate in family access issues, where we have parents trying to come to an agreement on how they can both co-parent despite the breakdown in their relationship.
When mediating in civil disputes, issues can range from a complaint about building work that has been carried out, to hedge boundaries in adjacent gardens.
We can put our clients at ease.
You will find with us, that our professional yet informal approach works wonders in putting people at ease, particularly if they are worried about having to have a mediation meeting.
We charge a day rate of £595 + VAT and this includes having relevant meetings with you, some preparatory work and facilitating the first mediation session. Any further mediation sessions are charge at £225 + VAT (for 90 minutes).
No mediation situation is the same, but we are well equipped to handle most mediation situations and if we can’t help, we can refer you to other organisations that can. We’re good that way.