SolveUK - Anthony Salata, Mediator - Property Mediation, Arbitration Mediation, Expert Witness, Dispute Resolution and ADR. Contact: +44 (0)20 7808 3349

Mediation: How does it work?

Once the mediator is appointed he will make contact with the parties and discuss where the mediation should take place. He will require the parties’ solicitors to provide him with a brief document outlining the dispute and the claim and defence so that he can prepare himself. Normally that would be provided one week before the mediation itself.

On the day of the mediation each party with their legal advisor will be allocated a private room. The mediator will meet them and introduce himself and will ask both parties to join him in a open joint meeting.

At this meeting the mediator will set out the process and will stress that everything that is said will be confidential and without prejudice and then each party will be invited to make a brief submission setting out their case. After the submissions the parties return to their private rooms. The mediator will them spend time with each party in private meetings (sometimes called caucus meetings) discussing their respective positions and when appropriate he will relay proposals and offers to the other side. The crucial element to these private meetings is that they have an added layer of confidentiality, that is to say, the mediator will not convey any offer or any information to the other side unless he is specifically instructed to do so. The private meeting is therefore an entirely safe environment.

The parties may leave the proceedings at any time, however if, as is normally the case, the parties eventually reach an agreement, then the mediator together with the lawyers for each side will draft a contract which will be a settlement agreement signed by the parties and will be binding on them, thus resolving the dispute.

The vast majority of disputes require only one day to reach a settlement.