Browsing Archive: March, 2016

When might workplace mediation not be suitable?

Posted by Stephen Wood on Sunday, March 20, 2016, In : When not to use 
Workplace mediation has good prospects of success but there may be some situations when it might not be appropriate. Mediation may not be suitable when:
  1. one of the parties has been absent due to work-related stress and his or her GP advises against participating in the mediation;
  2. one of the parties insists that an investigation needs to take place before he or she will participate in the mediation;
  3. the parties have not voluntarily agreed to participate; and
  4. allegations of fraud have been made.

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The need for a signed written settlement

Posted by Stephen Wood on Sunday, March 13, 2016, In : Written Agreement 
To avoid further dispute it is sensible for the parties to agree prior to the mediation starting that the dispute is only settled once written terms of settlement are signed.

The process of writing-up the settlement often leads to a party seeking an additional clause (or two) that had not previously been discussed, emphasising the importance of there only being a settlement once the written agreement is signed.
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Advise clients about litigation costs prior to the mediation

Posted by Stephen Wood on Wednesday, March 9, 2016, In : Costs 
As part of the mediation process I, along with most mediators, will ask the parties to calculate the costs of the litigation, in particular the costs they will pay if they win and the costs they could be ordered to pay if they lose.  It often has a very sobering effect!

It is therefore important for those advising a party to provide their client with details of the likely costs in advance of the mediation.
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Should experts attend a mediation?

Posted by Stephen Wood on Saturday, March 5, 2016, In : Experts 
Some cases (such as Clinical Negligence and Construction disputes) inevitably require the use of expert evidence.  It is preferable that the respective experts should have discussed prior to the mediation where they agree, where they disagree and why they disagree.  In my experience, it is unusual for an expert to alter his or her opinion at a mediation.  Indeed, frequently an expert at a mediation appears to want to take on the role of an advocate for the party instructing them, which in tur...
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When is the best time to mediate?

Posted by Stephen Wood on Tuesday, March 1, 2016, In : When to use 
The best time to mediate will depend upon the dispute, the parties and their lawyers.  There is a risk that in mediating too early, not all of the issues will have been identified.  In particular, lawyers may be concerned that insufficient disclosure may have taken place for them to have been able to properly assess the strengths and weaknesses of the case.  However, mediating too late is likely to mean that the costs will have increased so much that the only way out is to take the claim too ...
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About Me

Stephen Wood is an ADR Group Accredited Civil & Commercial Mediator, an ADR Group Accredited Workplace Mediator, an ADR Group Accredited Online Mediator and a Consultant Litigation Solicitor. In 2017 Stephen was appointed to the Panel of Chairs of the Valuation Tribunal of England. In 2023 Stephen was appointed a Family Court Magistrate in Leicestershire. Stephen has undertaken over 100 paid mediations.