Civil & Commercial Mediation

Mediation is a cost effective process for resolving civil and commercial disputes. Lee Wilkins is a qualified mediator who will act as a facilitator, helping the disputing parties to communicate and negotiate more effectively in a confidential and respectful environment. Mediation is not a process intended to force compromise, although compromise can be an element of the process. Each party’s limitations are respected and a party is only expected to make a shift in their approach to the problem if convinced it is reasonable to do so. It is not the mediator’s role to adjudicate the issues in dispute — in fact, the mediator has no authority to do so.

Over the past decade, there has been a tremendous growth in the use of mediation. Why are people using mediation? Here are some key reasons.

Speed – Mediation can be arranged in a relatively short period of time and disputes are usually settled more quickly than through litigation or direct negotiation between the parties.

Cost – Management time and money can be saved and emotional stress reduced through early resolution of the dispute.

Informal atmosphere – The informal and confidential setting and atmosphere of mediation creates a safe environment designed to encourage effective communication between the parties. Many of the stresses of the adversarial process are avoided.

Privacy – Mediation takes place in private.  The details of the dispute and its resolution do not have to be publicly disclosed.

Control – Each of the parties maintains control of the dispute and its resolution because — unlike in a trial process — the parties design the settlement and agree to live by it only if it is acceptable to them. Participants in mediation have the option of obtaining independent legal advice before agreeing to a settlement.  This is particularly important if a person participates in mediation without legal counsel.

Separation of emotional and legal issues – In disputes, personal feelings or emotions often become confused with substantive legal issues. A mediator can help to separate the legal and personal dimensions of the dispute, thus reducing tension and making settlement more likely.

Success rate – Because the resolution is created by the parties and is tailored to their specific needs this ownership of the settlement tends to result in a higher incidence of compliance with the agreement reached. Mediation generally has high settlement rates.

Preservation of relationships – Many parties to a dispute have to continue to deal with one another on a personal or business basis after the dispute is resolved. Mediation can help to preserve a working relationship because it aims to avoid polarizing the parties.