5 Rules for a Successful Mediation

The 5 Rules  To a Successful Mediation

Over 80% of mediations reach a successful settlement.    For this to occur there are several key rules of thumb to bear in mind.

A wise man once told me : In life ,  if you  fail to prepare, then you must  prepare to fail!

Preparation is in five parts

[1]   Preparing and taking to the mediation the documents and relevant information for the mediation. How often do parties and lawyers turn up to the mediation yet fail to bring the relevant documentation?   This can waste crucial time during the day of mediation  and slow down the momentum as time is wasted as one party desperately tries to access or have emailed files and documents that they left behind.

[2]    Preparing for the mediation also requires thought and discussion with one’s lawyer,  financial advisor  and family as to  their position and an appreciation as to  the financial and emotional costs that will be borne if they fail to  reach a settlement.   By understanding one’s position and  what one is,  and is not,  willing  to compromise on in the mediation,  enables the parties to negotiate with confidence and self belief and usually with good will on both sides then they can reach an agreement

[3]   For a successful mediation  you need to be an excellent  Mediator not simply another Lawyer or    Barrister.   The mediator is in a position of neutrality and must be an excellent communicator that both parties feel they are able to relate to and is on their wavelength.   In a sense the mediator is in the exact opposite position  of a lawyer who will be adversarial and advocate on your behalf. Very often lawyers struggle to take off their adversarial hat.  There must be a sense of trust and openness created by the mediator.

[4]    The mediator  from the outset must  set the ground rules. The conversations and negotiations must be conducted in a constructive spirit of mutual respect. No one should be interrupted and all should feel they are able to speak uninhibited.

[5]    The parties should feel empowered not powerless   Some mediators and lawyers present are clock watching and keen to rush to reach a settlement. This results in a feeling of pressure for the parties concerned.  A good mediator will keep the mediation progressing whilst eansuring the parties do not feel rushed but are able to make offers when and on terms they are comfortable with. This empowers the parties to decide and help shape the outcome of the settlement. It is one of the great benefits of mediation over court proceedings

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