Civil and Commercial Mediation

Civil and Commercial Mediation

Whether your dispute is personal or business related, when you enter into formal legal proceedings the matter can soon become costly, time consuming and stressful.

The delays in getting to court and the increasing cost of retaining your lawyer only adds to the burden of an ongoing dispute.  The Civil and Commercial Mediation process however, offers you, and the parties involved, the opportunity to achieve a resolution to your differences using a more flexible and informal approach, a process where you remain in control.

Civil and Commercial Mediation is:

  • Cost effective
  • Time efficient
  • Confidential
  • Non-judgemental
  • Informal

Civil and Commercial Mediation offers parties the additional benefit of not only resolving their differences, but the opportunity to restore or rebuild relationships, personal or business.

You can choose to enter the Civil and Commercial Mediation process at any time, even if litigation procedures have begun, it is never too late!  All that is needed is an agreement from all parties to mediate.  If successful, a Civil and Commercial Mediation can result in a binding agreement providing a certain, and ultimately enforceable, resolution to the dispute.

Civil and Commercial Mediation is able to address all types and sizes of dispute.  When working with an independent mediator, the process is confidential, commercially sensitive and quick to set up.

Your solicitor will advise you to consider the Civil and Commercial Mediation process as a means to resolving your dispute.  Whilst mediation is voluntary, any refusal to consider or participate in Mediation will be considered in court and may result in serious cost sanctions, even if you win your case.

20:20 Mediation offers Civil and Commercial Mediation in areas such as:

  • Contract disputes
  • Probate, Inheritance and Wills
  • Supplier or distribution problems
  • Noise disturbance
  • Education and Governor disputes
  • Debt Recovery
  • Landlord/Tenant disputes
  • Franchise agreements
  • Insurance disputes
  • Misuse of confidential information
  • Commercial Partnership disputes
  • Property disputes
  • Shareholder disputes
What is Mediation

Mediation is a voluntary process in which the parties in dispute are willing to explore and better understand any differences they have.  The process of Mediation enables people to seek a solution to which both parties agree in order to settle their differences.

Using a structured approach to aid communication, the Mediator supports and guides the process but does not offer solutions, it is the parties involved who will determine the terms of the agreement.

The role of the Mediator is to remain in a position of impartiality ensuring that there is no imbalance of equity or power between the parties.

Mediation aims to offer a win/win outcome.

Why Choose Mediation?

Be it between neighbours, with a service provider or within the workplace, conflict can be destructive.  It can leave you frustrated, feeling that there is no solution in sight.  Conflict can lead to stress that can affect both your professional and personal life.  Finally, situations that remain unresolved may lead to costly litigation and court fees.

Using mediation as a means to resolve disputes is commonly becoming the first option for many people and business.

So why choose mediation?  Some of the many benefits include:

  • Time efficient
  • Cost effective
  • Simple, flexible process
  • Creative, durable solutions
  • Builds better relationships
  • Satisfaction – delivers a win/win solution

Mediation can be widely applied and is a successful form of dispute resolution for those choosing to enter into the process leading to a sustainable solution.

Not surprisingly, there is evidence that parties are more likely to live up to the terms of a mediated settlement agreement than a result imposed through a court judgment or an arbitration award.

20:20 Mediation can take you through this process, supporting both parties to seek and agree a solution to the dispute.

The Mediation Process

20:20 Mediation offers a framework that is focused, flexible and effective.  Our mediation service is delivered by experienced and accredited mediators.

The mediation process is confidential.  No information will be disclosed by the Mediator to either party nor will information be disclosed to any outside party unless compelled by law.  The disputants are at liberty to share their Agreement document with others should they so choose.

  1. The referral

On receipt of your referral, 20:20 Mediation will assess whether the case is suitable for mediation along with your expectations.  For the mediation process to continue to the next stage confirmation that both parties are happy to undertake the process voluntarily will be ascertained.

  1. Pre-mediation preparation

20:20 Mediation will make initial contact with both parties by telephone to introduce themselves.  This will be an opportunity to talk through the process and to answer any questions or concerns.  The parties will be sent some documents that will assist them in preparing for mediation including a Position Statement.  Parties will be asked to complete this prior to the Mediation Meeting, and with agreement, this will shared between all parties.

  1. Mediation Meetings

Mediation meetings will usually take place at a neutral venue or, by agreement at the offices of one of the legal representatives.

The Mediator may use both individual and joint meetings with the parties.  When in individual meetings, the process remains confidential and no information will be disclosed to the other party with your consent.

Individual Meetings: The Mediator will meet with each party individually.  This will be an opportunity for each party to confidentially talk through the issues and to consider how mediation will help them achieve resolution.

Joint Mediation Session: The Mediator will facilitate this joint meeting, supporting people to talk openly, honestly and without prejudice.  The process will follow a clear structure enabling those involved to remain focused on the purpose and the outcome – a solution that both parties can agree on.  The Mediator will offer no recommendations or solutions and will remain impartial throughout the process.

  1. The Settlement Agreement (Civil & Commercial)

The aim of mediation is to resolve conflict and to achieve an agreement that all parties can accept.  However, no agreement is legally binding until it has been reduced to writing and signed by, or on behalf of all parties by their legal representatives.  The Settlement Agreement will usually be complied by the parties legal representatives at the end of the Mediation.

Where parties act as Litigants in Person, it will be the responsibility of the parties to draft, sign and file an appropriate agreement at Court, if formal proceedings are in place.  Parties are recommended to seek legal advice in finalising their agreement.

Code of Conduct

EUROPEAN CODE OF CONDUCT FOR MEDIATORS

This code of conduct sets out a number of principles to which individual mediators may voluntarily decide to commit themselves, under their own responsibility. It may be used by mediators involved in all kinds of mediation in civil and commercial matters.

Organisations providing mediation services may also make such a commitment by asking mediators acting under the auspices of their organisation to respect the code of conduct. Organisations may make available information on the measures, such as training, evaluation and monitoring, they are taking to support the respect of the code by individual mediators.

For the purposes of the code of conduct, mediation means any structured process, however named or referred to, whereby two or more parties to a dispute attempt by themselves, on a voluntary basis, to reach an agreement on the settlement of their dispute with the assistance of a third person – hereinafter “the mediator”.

Adherence to the code of conduct is without prejudice to national legislation or rules regulating individual professions.

Organisations providing mediation services may wish to develop more detailed codes adapted to their specific context or the types of mediation services they offer, as well as to specific areas such as family mediation or consumer mediation.

European Code of Conduct for Mediators 

  1. COMPETENCE, APPOINTMENT AND FEES OF MEDIATORS AND PROMOTION OF THEIR SERVICES

1.1. Competence

Mediators must be competent and knowledgeable in the process of mediation.

Relevant factors include proper training and continuous updating of their education and practice in mediation skills, having regard to any relevant standards or accreditation schemes.

1.2. Appointment

Mediators must confer with the parties regarding suitable dates on which the mediation may take place. Mediators must verify that they have the  appropriate background and competence to conduct mediation in a given case before accepting the appointment. Upon request, they must disclose information concerning their background and experience to the parties.

1.3. Fees

Where not already provided, mediators must always supply the parties with complete information as to the mode of remuneration which they intend to apply. They must not agree to act in a mediation before the principles of their remuneration have been accepted by all parties concerned.

1.4. Promotion of mediators’ services

Mediators may promote their practice provided that they do so in a professional, truthful and dignified way.

  1. INDEPENDENCE AND IMPARTIALITY

2.1. Independence

If there are any circumstances that may, or may be seen to, affect a mediator’s independence or give rise to a conflict of interests, the mediator must disclose those circumstances to the parties before acting or continuing to act. Such circumstances include:

– any personal or business relationship with one or more of the parties;

– any financial or other interest, direct or indirect, in the outcome of the mediation;

– the mediator, or a member of his firm, having acted in any capacity other than mediator for one or more of the parties.

In such cases the mediator may only agree to act or continue to act if he is certain of being able to carry out the mediation in full independence in order to ensure complete impartiality and the parties explicitly consent.

The duty to disclose is a continuing obligation throughout the process of mediation.

2.2. Impartiality

Mediators must at all times act, and endeavour to be seen to act, with impartiality towards the parties and be committed to serve all parties equally with respect to the process of mediation.

European Code of Conduct for Mediators

  1. THE MEDIATION AGREEMENT, PROCESS AND SETTLEMENT

3.1. Procedure

The mediator must ensure that the parties to the mediation understand the characteristics of the mediation process and the role of the mediator and the parties in it.

The mediator must in particular ensure that prior to commencement of the mediation the parties have understood and expressly agreed the terms and conditions of the mediation agreement including any applicable provisions relating to obligations of confidentiality on the mediator and on the parties.

The mediation agreement may, upon request of the parties, be drawn up in writing.

The mediator must conduct the proceedings in an appropriate manner, taking into account the circumstances of the case, including possible imbalances of power and any wishes the parties may express, the rule of law and the need for a prompt settlement of the dispute. The parties may agree with the mediator on the manner in which the mediation is to be conducted, by reference to a set of rules or otherwise.

The mediator may hear the parties separately, if he deems it useful.

3.2. Fairness of the process

The mediator must ensure that all parties have adequate opportunities to be involved in the process.

The mediator must inform the parties, and may terminate the mediation, if:

– a settlement is being reached that for the mediator appears unenforceable or illegal, having regard to the circumstances of the case and the competence of the mediator for making such an assessment, or – the mediator considers that continuing the mediation is unlikely to result in a settlement.

3.3. The end of the process

The mediator must take all appropriate measures to ensure that any agreement is reached by all parties through knowing and informed consent, and that all parties understand the terms of the agreement.

The parties may withdraw from the mediation at any time without giving any justification.

The mediator must, upon request of the parties and within the limits of his competence, inform the parties as to how they may formalise the agreement and the possibilities for making the agreement enforceable.

  1. CONFIDENTIALITY

The mediator must keep confidential all information arising out of or in connection with the mediation, including the fact that the mediation is to take place or has taken place, unless compelled by law or grounds of public policy to disclose it. Any information disclosed in confidence to mediators by one of the parties must not be disclosed to the other parties without permission, unless compelled by law.