If you are involved in a legal dispute, using an alternative dispute resolution process such as mediation can be a quick, low cost option to resolve the dispute.
Mediation can occur prior to instigating Court proceedings and is compulsory in several areas of law. Mediation is often used for:
- building and construction disputes;
- civil and commercial disputes;
- debt recovery and contractual disputes;
- family provision claims; and
- family law matters.
We understand the impact that a legal dispute can have on your life, your business and your wellbeing and we always look for the most effective way to resolve your case in terms of cost and outcome.
How does mediation work?
Mediation involves a neutral person (the mediator) meeting face to face with the parties to a dispute and assisting them to reach a resolution. The meeting is confidential, and the mediator does not provide legal advice nor does he or she determine the dispute.
Mediation is best used when the parties are willing to negotiate in good faith and make genuine attempts to resolve the dispute. Even if the mediation does not provide a definitive outcome, it can at least identify the issues in dispute and reasons for disagreement and narrow the scope of the dispute.
Mediation is ideal for highly complex matters where the parties are wishing to avoid the cost and uncertainty of protracted litigation.
If an agreement is reached the parties can document and sign terms of settlement.
Advantages of mediation
Litigation is expensive and can become protracted and the result is often uncertain. In addition to the obvious cost and time savings, mediation has many other benefits, such as:
- The location, date and time for mediation is determined by agreement between the parties, as opposed to a Court timetable. This usually means the dispute can be resolved quicker and at the parties’ convenience.
- The mediation setting is less formal than a Court hearing, with a very low threshold for evidentiary formalities.
- The parties can explore more creative solutions to resolve their dispute which might not be available through Court orders.
- Mediation offers an opportunity to preserve the parties’ relationship, particularly when they intend to continue working together. This is an important consideration in family law disputes and commercial contract disputes. Resolving the dispute quickly can help the parties continue with their family or business relationship.
Despite best efforts however, it may be impossible to resolve a dispute by mediation. In such cases we will carefully assess your matter and its likely prospects if litigated, so you can make an informed decision as to how you may be able to achieve the best possible outcome. We are experienced litigators and, if instructed, will vigorously and tenaciously pursue your case in Court.