Mediation | Solicitors and Barristers
The subject of Mediation is sometimes lower down the list of priorites in the litigation process than we think it should be, so far as solicitors and barristers is concerned. Why is that?
Well, the first rule of practice for all lawyers is to act in their client’s best interests, and all reputable advisers would always act with this intention. From a mediator’s perspective, mediation is always in the client’s best inetests, and the sooner the better because with a 90% success rate it solves litigation quickly and (relatively) cost-effectively.
So, why is that lawyers don’t always rush to mediate their litigation cases?
We think the number one reason why lawyers can be reluctant to mediate (and why this reason don’t add up if the client’s best interestes are to be propery served) is, essentially, as follows:
“If I say we should mediate my client, and the other side, will think I am meek or spineless and have a weak case.”
Firstly this is simply untrue. The process of Mediation is now very well respected, particularly in the court system. Judges will almost always effectively mandate mediation at some point in the proceedings (for good reason) and a large amount of canny legal practitioners already recognise it’s almost always in their client’s best interests to mediate whether they have a robust case or not.
Traditionally, from a client’s perspective, so many cases drag on for so long with court step settelements or unattractive judgments meted out at the end of a long and expensive road.
In a sensible client’s eyes somebody who wants to get an agreed settlement as soon as possible is showing wisdom, not weakness. Not to mention demonstrating a much appreciated sensitivity to the client’s finances!
It is true that in the Courts of England and Wales mediation continues to be a voluntary process (although in other jurisdictions, such as Australia it is already the gatekeeper for the whole litigation process). However, Courts are very keen to streamline the overall arc of the litigation process and parties who refuse to mediate are almost always at risk on costs as a result.
This means that mediation is much more pevalent and is coming to the fore in all areas of litigation, and forward thinking lawyers have already begun to see the process as an ally, not a foe.
Mediation means the parties (and their representative lawyers) are always in charge of what happens – everything is completely consensual and the settlement (that we achieve about 90% of the time) is an AGREED solutuion which has had the personal input of both parties. This something that the parties OWN and have personally contibuted to.
This makes a mediated resolution, with client “buy-in”, much stronger than an impersonal court-imposed “verdict”. It means there is no risk of a judge handing down a decision that the parties can’t control or think is completely inappropriate (or worse).
Mediation produces a suitable, acceptable solution – on which the parties and their lawyers can concur, and one which they can see meets their best interests as much as possible.
All of this means you know that you are in safe hands when you choose a GetMediation mediator.
Contact us now to discuss your mediation needs.
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When you look at mediation in this light and from this angle it is quite hard to appreciate how reluctance to mediate could ever really serve your client’s best interests, is it not?