Mediation is a magical process which enables parties to resolve their disputes swiftly, cheaply and effectively. It is a way of avoiding lengthy and costly litigation and achieves a more satisfactory outcome for all -and it works even when all other attempts have failed.
A mediation can be set up in a matter of weeks, if not days. It thereby avoids the many undesirable consequences of protracted litigation - drain on costs and resources, damage to health, the destruction of businesses, termination of business relationships, and even marriages.
The cost of mediation can start at just over £100 per party. It usually takes a matter of hours to complete and very rarely lasts more than one or two days, with very limited preparation involved - so costs can be kept to a minimum.
Parties retain control over the outcome
In litigation, parties relinquish control of their dispute: the Court controls the procedure, the level of disclosure, the evidence to be given, and the Judge has exclusive control of the outcome. In mediation the parties retain full control of the entirety of their dispute, allowing them to reject settlements with which they do not agree, and enabling them to reach more creative settlements or just 'good enough' settlements with which each party can readily live.
It allows the parties their day in court more effectively than by going to court itself by allowing each person in dispute to be truly 'heard' to have their full and frank say to the mediator as well as to the other side in a 'safe' environment. It also facilitates apologies to be given or explanations made - which is often what parties really want.
Parties who end up in court, with a winner and a loser, will rarely be able to continue any commercial, trade or other relationship; whereas mediation allows parties to reach settlements with which they are both content, thereby enabling them to continue with pre-existing business relationships.
Litigation often attracts unwanted publicity, with parties obliged to 'wash their dirty linen in public'. Mediation is totally confidential with each party retaining complete control over whether and what matters can be revealed. Confidentiality clauses are also frequently included in settlement agreements.
Diminishes imbalances of power
Parties often feel overwhelmed when fighting large corporations - at mediation they are simply individuals around the table, and an effective mediator can protect parties against power imbalances.