In our previous e-briefing we discussed the mediation process.
Preparation for mediation puts you in a better place to influence
the other parties and to shape the outcome.
Your lawyers (and perhaps barristers) will have provided an
analysis of the legal issues involved and their assessment of how
the legal system may deal with those issues. You need not speak to
the other parties at the mediation (unless you wish to) and can
rely upon your lawyers to present your case. But you do need to
It is likely that you have been dealing with the other side for
longer than your lawyer and know your opponent better than your
lawyer does. If you simply turn up for the mediation and hope for
the best, you may be able to reach a deal with the other parties,
but to negotiate the best possible outcome you should prepare.
what do you want to achieve? - Usually a monetary amount but
also commercial or other goals depending on what your needs and
what are the strengths of your case and the problems?
what problems does the other side have? - can you make use of
what are the benefits of being in the same place as the other
side for a day?
what are the obstacles to settlement? - can you think of any
ways to overcome them?
what range of possible solutions are achievable? Could you
create value which could meet the needs and interests of the other
Mediation is often a long and stressful day. It is important
that beforehand you have thought about the least attractive
settlement terms that you could live with (but are still preferable
to going to Court), think about:
the realistic range of likely outcomes if you don't settle
and you go to a Court hearing;
how long that may take and the likely cost in legal fees (and
distraction from your own work/business); and
how far you might be able to realistically change the views of
your opponent at mediation.
On a practical note, mediations are usually conducted in
conference rooms with unpredictable air-conditioning. It is a good
idea to bring something to read (there can be long dull periods
while you are waiting for the other side to respond) and a notepad
to help you keep track of the negotiations. Mediations often
continue past normal office hours - make sure you are able to stay
until the deal is finalised.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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This was an interlocutory decision about the appointment of a tutor for the child appellant, to carry on his proceedings.
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