The default system for the resolution of disputes is a court system provided by the state. Alternatives to that system are known as Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).

ADR is generally recognised as comprising arbitration, mediation (and perhaps conciliation) and early neutral evaluation or expert adjudication.

In business disputes mediation is the most recognised form of ADR. Mediation is a speedy, cost-effective and private form of dispute resolution where the parties seek to achieve consensus with the assistance of a neutral: the mediator. A mediator does not decide anything, still less binds the parties by any decision. The mediator uses joint (plenary) and private sessions with each party to assist the parties to reach consensus. In private sessions the mediator will challenge and question the thinking behind the position adopted and explore alternative approaches.

We represent parties in mediation and who are in, or may be contemplating, litigation or arbitration. We help them to put disputes behind them and avoid the personal and commercial effects of costly and lengthy proceedings. Parties also find mediation attractive because of its high success rate (typically over 80%) and because it allows parties to craft bespoke solutions. A settlement can be structured to include arrangements which could not be obtained from a judge or arbitrator such as restructuring a trading or business relationship.

We adopt a commercial and cost effective approach to disputes. We take care to understand our clients’ commercial objectives and undertake a detailed analysis of the risks and benefits of all stages of a dispute. We proactively seek the most advantageous time for a mediation, we anticipate what arguments might be raised and what opportunities might arise at a mediation and develop strategies to deal with them. We advocate our client’s position robustly and constructively at the mediation. We also appreciate that some cases do not settle on the day of the mediation but can be successfully concluded in the weeks afterwards, building upon progress made during the mediation.

ADR & mediation expertise

  • CEDR mediation
  • Independent mediator
  • CEDR mediation
  • Independent mediator

ADR & mediation experience

  • Achieved a six-figure settlement for a development funder against solicitors for applying the loaned funds in breach of trust by failing to obtain a valid charge on the development site.

  • Acted for a company laying sub-sea cables in a dispute with the diving team as to whether the cable was in the correct position. As that was the fundamental issue, the mediation was adjourned whilst an expert considered available sub-sea video evidence to determine whether the cable was in the correct position.

  • Acting for the agent, we obtained a six-figure settlement sum in a dispute where the principal had initially denied all liability.

  • Acted for the claimants against a major bank in respect of a mis-selling claim regarding interest rate hedging products, and obtained an excellent settlement at a mediation.

  • Acted for a minority shareholder aggrieved by being disenfranchised and by the company’s board not similarly disenfranchising another body of shareholders who supported the management. We achieved a buy-out of the majority shareholder stakes.

  • We acted for one of the parties in a substantial shareholder dispute in the media industry, and settled it in mediation the day before the trial.

  • Acted for a grocery household name against a trade competitor for disparaging their products to supermarket customers by presenting false data and presentations. The claims were in malicious falsehood and trademark infringement. We achieved a substantial settlement and letters of apology and withdrawal of the infringing presentations and data.

ADR & mediation FAQs

Litigation is the method of resolving a dispute where a judge decides a case in Court. Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process where an independent mediator will try to help the parties reach a negotiated settlement in their dispute. Mediation is without prejudice, so anything discussed at mediation cannot be used in Court.

This will entirely depend on the circumstances, but usually the chances of a resolution at mediation are high. The Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) has released statistics showing that, in 2016, the aggregate settlement rate for mediations was 86%, based on 67% of disputes settling on the day of mediation and 19% shortly thereafter.

The typical cost of mediation are the mediator’s fees and any legal fees preparing for and attending the mediation to assist you. Mediators fees are usually in the range of £5,000 to £15,000, depending on the expertise and experience of the mediator and the facts of the case. The parties usually split the cost of a mediator, although exact terms may vary depending on the terms of a settlement reached.

No, you are not bound by anything decided at a mediation unless and until you agree to and sign a settlement agreement.

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