What is Mediation?
A process that has a neutral, impartial third party to facilitate discussion and negotiation. It is a confidential and legally privileged environment that facilitates creative outcomes, and that ensures that the parties are in control of the process.
Why are you qualified to be a mediator?
As a qualified solicitor, with 20 years legal expertise clients can have confidence in my legal knowledge about issues and processes. Having trained and gained accreditation as a mediator I then went on to undertake further training as a family law mediation specialist. Practical training of in excess of 90 hours client contact and completion of a portfolio of cases completed the training.
Why Mediate, why not just go to court?
The court process takes control from you. The rigid nature of proceedings has a timeframe set down by the judge. Decisions are made about you, not by you. Court processes are lengthy, expensive and outcomes are uncertain. Mediation enables you to make agreements on your terms, to find solutions to your own situation. They are also often much quicker and cheaper to achieve.
Do I have to be in the same room as the other person?
No! Every mediation is different. Sometimes it is helpful to be in the same room and sometimes not. Sometimes solicitors are present and sometimes not. Some mediations begin with people in separate rooms and then in the same room. This is your process, you can decide.
Can I mediate on the telephone or online?
Yes. If there is a reason why you cannot be in the same place, or if you prefer to be separate then mediation can be done by telephone or online. Itmay be more convenient this way.
Is mediation different depending on the type of case?
The process for civil mediation usually has the parties in two separate rooms with the mediator going between them. The mediator does not share information unless there is express client consent.
Family, SEN and vulnerable adult mediation usually has the parties together for at least some parts of the mediation and anything the mediator is told by one party is to be shared with the other.
However during initial assessment the various types of mediation will be discussed and you can decide what you think will work best for you.
How much will family mediation cost?
Fixed fee packages start with a Mediation and Assessment Meeting. Online or in person for £80, each mediation session and follow up work of a fixed fee of £150 per party. Drafting of final documents ranges from £75 per party to £200 per party depending on the documents required.
How much does other types of mediation cost?
After a initial call to discuss the type of case a bespoke fee estimate is provided.
What if one side is more domineering than the other?
Mediation is designed to address power imbalances and to make sure that every party gets to put their point of view across, to make the points they want to make. In mediation sessions the mediator ensures that the process is fair and one person does not dominate the whole session.
How long does it take?
Sometimes a single joint session is all that is needed. Other cases can take multiple sessions. The pace and progress is dictated by you, not by the mediator.
Is it confidential?
Yes and legally privileged. This means that the content of any discussions cannot be referred to in court. Settlement options can be freely discussed, proposals and counter proposals can be made. What is said in mediation stays within the mediation process. The only exceptions to this are that your lawyers can old what has been discussed. If there is information that raises concerns about the welfare of a child or vulnerable adult the mediator has a duty to refer these to the appropriate external agency. Likewise if there is any indication of financial crime the mediator must pass this information to the police. Thankfully neither situation is common!
I have got a solicitor - does it matter?
Good legal advice is invaluable in the majority of cases. You may need support throughout the whole process, you may just need advice about a proposed settlement. Your solicitor has a duty to promote your best interests.
I have not got a solicitor does it matter?
Good legal advice is invaluable in most cases! In mediation it is common for the mediator to recommend that legal advice is taken. However, it is always your decision.
'The first time I spoke to John I put the phone down thinking I’d just spoken to a friend, not a solicitor that I had never met. Throughout, John communicated to me on my level and was always clear, easy to understand and prepared to explain his reasoning.'MW