3. What if we do reach an agreement?

If you are able to agree a satisfactory resolution then the mediator will draft a Memorandum of Understanding or Heads of Agreement. This document sets out clearly what has been agreed between the parties and the terms upon which settlement has been reached. The document will then be signed and dated by the parties and the mediator.
If for some reason the agreement is not effected by either party and the matter is ultimately adjudicated upon by the courts, a Judge will view this document as a binding agreement. However, there may be occasions where a party asks a Judge to ignore the agreement due to some new information (or existing information subsequently discovered). It is always an available option for a Judge to permit this. The party who seeks to renege from the agreement will have to persuade the court that the new event undermines the agreement to the extent where compliance would lead to an inequitable outcome.

Ultimately the agreement is a powerful document that the courts will attempt to give effect to wherever possible. Therefore, the parties must be clear about the terms of the agreement before they sign. It is always open to a party to seek legal advice before signing the agreement if they require.