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.
Both the Government and the Courts have been determined to promote Mediation as a prime form of dispute resolution.
The Civil Procedure Rules, the Commercial Court Guide, the Queen's Bench and Chancery Division Guides, and the various Pre-Action Protocols have all sought to encourage parties and prospective litigants to consider ADR as early as possible in their disputes.
The Courts, however, have increasingly adopted the 'stick' rather than the 'carrot'. In 2002, Lord Justice Brooke set the ball rolling and created a significant precedent when the Court of Appeal disallowed Railtrack PLC their costs notwithstanding that they had been successful on appeal: Dunnett v Railtrack PLC  2 All ER 850, CA.
In Halsey v Milton Keynes General NHS Trust 1 WLR 3002, the Court of Appeal stated:
"All members of the legal profession who conduct litigation should now routinely consider with their clients whether their disputes are suitable for ADR. The Court of Appeal indicated that the courts would be robust in their encouragement, and parties will now face significant adverse costs consequences if they unreasonably refuse to consider mediation." Since then, there have been innumerable decisions by the High Court and the Court of Appeal, all emphasizing the importance of using mediation, and underlining the displeasure of the Courts when parties unreasonably refuse.
Fees are very flexible but see the fees page for some guidance as to fees.
See also risks of failing to mediate for the possible costs implications of failing to participate in a mediation proposal.
Is Legal Aid Available For Mediation?
If your case comes into the category of cases for which you are entitled to Legal Aid, then you will also be entitled to have the reasonable fees of a mediator paid for as a disbursement under Legal Help funding.