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By LegalEdge News

The benefits of business mediation: save time & money & stay in control

Is your business dealing with a dispute that you worry will escalate out of control?  Would you like to try to resolve it in a cost and time efficient manner and with you in control?

If so, mediation may be the answer.    

What is mediation?

Mediation is a method to resolve disputes which is less formal than litigation or arbitration. 

Run by a mediator, the aim is to bring parties who are in conflict (for whatever reason) together, to enable them to settle their differences quickly and cheaply.

A mediator’s focus is on facilitating a direct exchange  between the parties and thereby bringing the sides together to reach an agreement. In some types of mediation, a mediator may make suggestions to the parties if they think this is appropriate.

It’s not a judicial process so it’s not public and doesn’t result in a formal judgment that’s enforced by the courts. 

Once the dispute is resolved, the parties record the terms of the agreement they’ve reached in a settlement contract, which is then enforceable in the same way that a contract is enforceable, via a standard breach of contract claim if it’s breached.

Why is mediation a good idea? 

Quite often when a business is dealing with a dispute, the first instinct is to call their lawyer. But considering mediation first may be a better choice.

It is much cheaper than litigating, it takes less time and often can result in an amicable solution which preserves business relationships.  Making a claim in court is often an adversarial process, which highlights and exacerbates differences between the parties (whose positions often become entrenched) and which makes it very difficult to preserve business relationships.

Additionally, current litigation rules of conduct require that the parties consider alternative ways to resolve their dispute, even after a court case has commenced and judges will pause proceedings to give the parties an opportunity to do so. Not doing so can be held against a party (even if that party succeeds in its claim) when it comes to making an order as to which party pays the legal costs.

What type of disputes are suitable for mediation?

Almost any type of dispute, between all types of parties (such as clients, services users, suppliers, partners, employees, franchisees, licensees, shareholders) can be mediated. 

When it comes to start-ups, scale-ups and fast growth businesses, disputes involving founders, shareholders, directors, investors and employees are not uncommon. Mediation may be particularly useful for these types of businesses, offering value for money and a good outcome. It can help parties repair their relationship so that they can carry on working together or, enable both sides to part in an orderly fashion, on agreed terms. 

Mediation may not be right for certain types of disputes, particularly complex disputes (with multiple parties and/or highly technical issues), those involving other countries or points of law that only a court can resolve.

How can LegalEdge help

We have trained mediators to help you resolve your business dispute. Our CEDR qualified mediators can provide guided mediation, bringing parties together to settle their differences and formulate an agreement to allow everyone to move forward. Get in touch to find out more.  

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