FAQsWhat are the benefits of mediation?
Mediation can be quicker, less stressful and cheaper than going to court.
The outcome of mediation can often include an apology, an explanation, or something that a court does not have the power to order. Once a settlement has been reached a mediation agreement can be drawn up.
People often want to mediate where:
-They want to maintain a relationship with the other side once the dispute is over.
-They want to stay in control of the process and not hand it over to an unknown judge.
-They are worried about the costs of going to court or the delay in waiting for a trial.
-They want the dispute and settlement to be confidential.
-There may be outcomes that can be agreed which a judge could not award.
-They want to look for a settlement rather than take the risk of a judge finding against them.
-They are neighbours or businesses who deal in the same local area or type of work.
NMPA has been set up to be the first port of call for information to the public, to businesses and lawyers as well as to the courts about mediation and mediators. It is an important part of the Ministry of Justice vision for civil justice that disputes should where possible be resolved without the need for parties to go to court, and the NMPA is the first port of call for mediation including court referred disputes.
You can consider using mediation at any stage - even before entering the court process. If the dispute is already subject to court proceedings, and if both parties wish to mediate, the court should be informed and an order staying the action for mediation may be issued. If you would like more information about staying an action for mediation you should contact your solicitor or the court at which the action is proceeding.
Mediation can help. Whether you are already involved in a court action, or thinking about making a claim, you should consider mediation. It may help you to settle your dispute quicker and with fewer costs.
No - there is nothing to lose by offering to mediate even if you believe you have a strong case. Few lawyers would advise their clients that they are bound to win a court case. Unreasonably refusing to mediate may mean that even if a party is later successful in court it may not recover their costs.
The role of the mediator is to help parties reach a solution to their problem and to arrive at an outcome that both parties are happy to accept. The mediator remains neutral throughout the process. The focus of a mediation meeting is to reach a settlement agreeable to all parties in a case.
The mediation providers listed on the Mediation Providers page are all accredited by the Civil Mediation Council and approved by the Ministry of Justice. The NMPA's Mediators come from many different backgrounds and are all trained and experienced in helping people settle their disputes. The mediator need not be legally qualified, though many are.
Yes - the mediation providers supporting this scheme will only refer you to a mediator who is insured. More About Us
The mediation provider will only refer you to a trained and accredited mediator - they believe that it is important for there to be a high level of expertise and knowledge to be effective as a mediator.
No - the process of mediation is totally voluntary.
If you select a mediator through the NMPA there is a standard scale of costs. Please see the costs section of this website to find out how much it will cost each party.
If you are on a low income or in receipt of a means-tested benefit, you may be eligible for a free mediation. Please inform the provider if you think that this may be the case. They will be able to direct you to LawWorks Mediation, who will deal with your request. Please note that you will be required to prove your financial status.
Usually, the cost of mediation is shared equally between the parties and it is normally paid in advance of the mediation.
Yes the fee is paid in advance for the mediator
The parties decide the outcome of the mediation. The role of the mediator is to help parties reach a solution to their problem and to arrive at an outcome that both parties are happy to accept.
Yes - you will firstly need to complete the online enquiry form . You will be asked a series of questions to ascertain how appropriate your dispute is for mediation. Once this information has been obtained, the NMPA will refer your request to one of the accredited mediation providers.. They will contact you and discuss the process involved and try to arrange a mutually agreeable date for mediation.
No - if you feel that you may need legal advice you should make your own arrangements before hand. The mediator is an independent third party and must remain impartial and neutral, and whilst you may have candid discussions with the mediator, no advice will be given.
Yes - if you wish. You may feel that your dispute is rather complex and that you would prefer legal advice throughout the mediation, bearing in mind that the mediator cannot give any legal advice to the parties. In addition to the mediation fee, you are responsible for paying your own legal costs too. Please note though that a number of parties choose not to bring legal representation to the mediation and still manage to resolve most if not all of their dispute on the day.
Yes, at any time - Although most mediators will ask you to give them few minutes before you do so.
Mediation is not suitable for every case, but it can still help to settle some of the issues in a dispute. At the very least you are likely to have narrowed the issues. A mediation can provide clarity so that less time is wasted if you ultimately have to go to court. All discussions during the mediation process are 'without prejudice' - in other words, anything said in the mediation cannot be used later in court or another legal action.
Most judges will award the winning party the costs of litigation and if there has been a mediation then the costs will usually be recoverable. Please note though that cost rules are complicated and you should seek legal advice if you have any queries or concerns about this issue.
Courts encourage the use of mediation wherever appropriate and in certain cases can order some costs to be paid if a party has unreasonably refused to participate in mediation.
Yes, it is possible to arrange a meeting without the parties actually meeting at all. You should let the mediator know ahead of the mediation that you do not wish to be in the same room as the other party. Sometimes, if this is the case, telephone mediation may be more appropriate.
Mediation is a voluntary process and therefore no party can be forced to attend mediation. However the courts do sometimes take an �unreasonable� refusal to mediate into account when allocating liability for the parties' costs at the end of a court case. Approaching the other party about mediation is sometimes better done by the provider, as a neutral third party.
Success is not guaranteed, but even where agreement is not reached, many people find it a very useful process by which they learn more about the other party and sometimes are able to settle the dispute subsequently, before going to court. Civil mediations have a settlement rate of over 65%. Most parties are more satisfied with the result than with a court decision, as they have made the settlement themselves, not had it imposed on them by a court
If both parties reach an agreement then this signed agreement will be legally binding. If one party does not adhere to it, normally the mediator will re-engage to try to sort out any problems. At the end of the day, either party has recourse to the courts if a settlement agreement is breached.
The Civil Mediation Council (CMC) is an association of academics, professions and providers in the field of civil mediation. It is the government recognized body for accrediting mediation providers. The organisation encourages mediation as a way to settling disputes. It also gives advice and guidance to the mediation providers that offer mediation.
Parties are free to pursue legal proceedings at the same time as trying mediation or after trying mediation. However, they are responsible for all correspondence with the Court and meeting any Court deadlines and should be careful not to miss any limitation period to commence a court action by pursuing mediation. It is also quite often the case that the Court will itself propose mediation to the parties. Should the case settle at mediation the parties need to inform the Court immediately, for the case to be closed.
The parties usually agree a bundle of papers for the mediator so he/she can understand the dispute. Parties are usually asked to produce a �position paper� for the mediation which outlines their present view of the dispute and may indicate possible areas of settlement. This may or may not be shared with the other party and does not have a set format, but usually comprises a page or two only of A4. The emphasis of mediation is to look forward to a solution, rather than backwards to the details of what has taken place.