The Mediation Process
Mediation works in subtle ways and as every mediation is different, we adapt to the needs of the parties. For those who have not mediated with us yet here is a general idea of the stages it goes through.
Pre meeting preparation – why not just call us to talk this through with you 0n 0773 098 2140 or 07802 888418
Before the mediation, we say hello by phone, email or in person and select the team that will mediate as well as the venue and timetable to suit you and other party or parties. We help you work out who needs to attend and check the authority to settle. We like to know the flavour of the dispute, ensure the Agreement to Mediate is signed which includes a full Confidentiality Clause to enhance the confidentiality that mediation brings. On the day we make sure anyone and everyone present signs up to confidentiality as it is so essential for you to feel enabled to speak freely. Before the mediation we ask for brief written summaries of the dispute and any necessary supporting documents at least 7 days in advance of the mediation so we have time to read it.
Mediation usually begins by meeting with each side individually and preparing for an opening session with everyone present. This gives opportunity to understand the needs of a particular party and faciliatation of how to express those interests.
If there is an Opening Session, we set the table as to how it all works together and discuss how to construct progress of the matter. Everyone who wishes to speak is asked to do so and the others requested to listen very carefully. It is often through listening thoroughly that the process of change that leads towards settlement occurs. The issues can be clarified and a general exploration can commence. Sometimes this session can continue.
Depending on the needs and desires of the parties, the matter may break to private meetings in separate rooms. Often there are things a party may wish to discuss with the mediator in confidence without telling the other side and this is the opportunity. It also assists the mediator to help that party to where they might take things without the other side hearing how negotiation, for example, may pan out. A mediator never reveals what is said in such a session without the express and explicit authority of that party to do so.
We may shuttle between rooms, we may call everyone back together or we may ask certain people to get together alone, for example, experts put together awhile may create a useful list of agreed and disputed issues. Sometimes we may meet with lawyers alone, sometimes one party, sometimes even put the two people with authority to settle might meet usefully alone.
Often, small pieces of the puzzle crystallise into points of agreement and can be put aside while other parts are sorted. Slowly something usually comes together as to how both parties wish to settle and the full points of agreement may appear.
The Settlement Agreement is drafted, usually by the lawyers present, if there are lawyers. Once written it is read, reviewed, discussed, reality tested and checked out individually and as a group. Once it is signed by both parties it becomes a legally binding contract. If there are proceedings it can then be the terms of an order for disposal of proceedings.