Significantly Reduced Costs
Costs incurred in Mediation are a fraction of those involved in litigation. Both in monetary and personal terms, mediation is inexpensive compared to proceeding to a court hearing.
Significantly Shorter Time Frame
Mediation can be scheduled within a very short timeframe: it can be soon after a dispute arises or at any time throughout an on-going dispute; and, following the pre-mediation processes and agreements, can often be concluded in a single day. This reduces the time from start of dispute to settlement significantly.
Mediation is an interest-driven process based on consensus and collaborative agreement. Mediation helps the parties to communicate with each other, either directly and/or through the Mediator, to explore the issues which are of real importance to them – rather than necessarily focusing on their respective ‘rights’. The parties are encouraged to find ways to address their present and future needs, rather than dwell upon who may have been right or wrong in the past.
As the process of mediation is based on mutual agreement, the mediator does not impose a decision, nor make any kind of judgment – unlike court or arbitration, the mediator helps the parties to find their own, mutually acceptable, solution.
Parties Always in Control
Mediation belongs to the Parties. The parties to a dispute remain in control of the outcome and of any potential resolutions as well as having the right to end the mediation at any time should the process reach stalemate.
Helps to Preserve Relationships
Mediation works towards long-term solutions for the Parties in dispute, and where there is an ongoing relationship places significant emphasis on how they will interact in the future.
The confidential nature of mediation allows the Parties to negotiate freely and productively without fear of publicity. All those participating in a mediation are protected by a confidentiality agreement which is signed by all parties and witnesses before the mediation begins. Issues discussed between a party and the mediator will not be disclosed to the other party, except by agreement.
Mediation is “Without prejudice”
The mediation process is ‘without prejudice’ so that on the rare occasion that a settlement is not reached litigation may continue without the parties needing to worry about having ‘given away’ anything that the other could use ‘against’ them or in court. All notes and documents that are in the possession of the mediator are destroyed at the end of the mediation, in the presence of the parties. As part of the mediation agreement it is agreed that the mediator cannot appear as a witness for either party in the event of any future court proceedings.
Always Leaves Other Options Open
Engagement in a mediated intervention does not preclude participation in a different dispute resolution process. If an agreement is reached, parties should be made aware that the agreement can be made legally binding, but can also be used to formulate resolutions that do not need legal documentation. If the mediation fails to result in a comprehensive solution on the day, the process of mediation invariably provides insights and understandings – even partial agreements – which may encourage and support continued negotiation after the mediation.
Promotes use of Creative Solutions
Mediation allows for creative solutions which may not be available in other court based approaches.
Settlement potential is high and there are benefits to participating in the process for all.