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Civil & Commercial Mediation

Civil & Commercial Mediation

In a Commercial Mediation a trained mediator will work with people or businesses in dispute, both privately and together, to help them resolve their differences through negotiation.

Mediation is voluntary and you do not have to make an agreement if you don’t want to, although most people do after they have considered their different options.

Commercial Mediation is a way of resolving disputes without going to court, although these days many cases are mediated without there even being a legal claim to begin with.

How Does Civil & Commercial Mediation Work?

Mediation is voluntary and nothing is decided unless the people involved make an agreement. What happens at the mediation is confidential and what is learned there cannot be used later if there are any court proceedings, which makes is a safe space for negotiations.

When an agreement happens at a mediation, it is then put in writing, usually by lawyers if they are present. (Most people will normally bring their lawyer with them to a mediation.) When the agreement is signed it becomes a contract to end the dispute, and if there is a legal case in court at the time, this also ends.

The vast majority of mediations make an agreement on the day although sometimes further negotiation is needed.

What can I expect from the mediator?

The mediator will speak to you or your lawyer before the mediation to make sure you know what to expect.

A mediator will not act like a judge and make a ruling about what should happen, because it’s their job stay neutral and help you make a deal that you are comfortable with. They will work with all those present to see where a solution might lie.

Mediators work both jointly and separately with all those at the mediation to discuss the options and potential ideas for an agreement.

What will the mediator expect from me?

The mediator will be getting you to look at different options and encouraging you to negotiate to see if an agreement if possible.

They will expect you to either have a lawyer with you or to have one at the end of a phone just in case they are needed.

The mediator will want a short summary of your story about the dispute before the mediation. Lawyers will usually help prepare this but you can do this yourself.

Civil & Commercial Mediation Success Story

An electrical engineer was contracted to provide services to a medium-sized retailer. The retailer was then taken over by a national chain of shops and following the takeover the national chain then tried to cancel the contract with the engineer.

There was a clash of cultures at the heart of this dispute – as the large chain was used to using process and documentation but the sole trader engineer, preferred to just give informal quotations for their work.

The company didn’t pay the engineers’ invoices so he took them to court for £250,000.

The case was shortly to go to trial when the mediation took place. The relationship between the two sides in the dispute had deteriorated to the point where they were only speaking through lawyers. At the start neither side would have considered that the business relationship could be saved.

Although each side was firm in their views about the contract they had between each other, as a consequence of the mediator talking to them about the different options and what might happen at court they found they could talk to each other more calmly. They both had solicitors with them to help them examine the different element of their dispute. By the end of the mediation they started talking about how they could work together again and agreed a payment to end the dispute.

The mediator took 5 hours to prepare for the mediation by talking to everyone and reading the legal papers. The mediation started at 9 in the morning and finished with the agreement being signed in the early evening.

Civil & Commercial Mediation FAQs

What sorts of disputes will a commercial Mediator deal with?

Mediators can work on a wide variety of cases including contracts that go wrong, property disputes (dealing with rents and boundary issues), all sort of insurance disputes (such as personal injury), inheritance disputes and problems with construction. Just about the only thing a Commercial Mediator will not be able to help with is a child custody or divorce dispute which you will need a Family Mediator for.

How much will mediation cost me?

Commercial Mediators charge a similar fee to other professionals (like a solicitor), but because it is a short process it won’t cost nearly as much as taking a case to court would. The mediator’s fee will probably depend roughly on how much money is at stake in the dispute and how complex it will be to deal with.

How long will a Commercial Mediation take?

Most mediations are usually set-up in within two to four weeks and then run for a day or half a day. A more complex dispute might book a mediator for more than one day. A longer mediation will cost a bit more.

What happens if my mediation doesn’t end in an agreement?

Most mediations do end with an agreement, either on the day or shortly after. If there hasn’t been an agreement the mediator will probably carry on talking to the people involved and see if future negotiations might be possible.

Where does mediation take place?

Mediation can take place anywhere (there are usually private meeting rooms there so people can have their own space) and it can happen over video calls if you would like.a

Who should be at the mediation?

The people who need to make the decisions should attend the mediation and can be accompanied by those people who are advising them, whether business colleagues, lawyers or a friend or family member.

Find a Mediator

Welcome to the Civil Mediation Council’s search facility where you can find professional mediators. All mediators listed here have completed recognised training courses, abide by a recognised Code of Practice, are appropriately insured, undertake annual continuous professional development and offer access to a complaints service if necessary, and so will provide you with an assured dispute resolution service.