What Happens at Mediation?

What Happens At Mediation?

Mediation is a flexible process and no two will ever be the same.


The typical flow of our mediations;

Meet and greet

The mediator will meet you at our Central London or Kent offices. The mediator will explain how mediation may work for you. It is not a trial and the aim is to help you find a solution to the dispute.

Opening joint Meeting

When everyone is ready, we start with a joint meeting of all the parties and explain the golden rules of mediation which are:

  • It is confidential “ whatever happens at the mediation meetings the parties agree (in the mediation agreement) to keep it confidential.
  • Any discussions you have with the mediator in your private room are confidential “ information will not be passed on to the other side without your permission.
  • It is without prejudice “ which in plain English means nothing that is said at the mediation can be referred to in any court case if the mediation does not result in settlement.
  • It is voluntary “ any party can leave at any time for any reason.
  • A mediator is not a judge “ their role is to help you and your opponent find a solution you can all live with. However, there may be times in the private meetings when you will be asked challenging questions about your case “ this is simply part of the process.
  • There is no binding agreement until it is written and signed by all the parties.
The clients are invited and encouraged to make an optional opening statement. This is your opportunity to explain your view of the case to your opponent. You can do it yourself, ask your representative to do it or you can both do it. You might want to tell your opponent some or all of the following:

  • what you want to achieve at the mediation;
  • how you feel about the dispute and how it has affected you;
  • why you think the parties are in dispute;
  • why it is in their interests to resolve the dispute;
  • how you think the dispute could be resolved (bear in mind the other side have to agree to any settlement).
Each side has the opportunity to respond. Parties can ask questions if there is anything they do not understand about their opponent™s case although neither side is obliged to answer any questions. The mediator will also ask some questions to identify exactly what the issues are.
Mediation Meetings
The mediation meetings will vary depending on the matter in dispute. In commercial and civil mediation, some clients prefer a private meeting room with some privacy to discuss the issues within their organisation, and then reconvening to join the joint meeting. The mediator may visit one party at a time for further confidential meetings. These meetings help the mediator find out what the parties really want and explore the suggested solutions. The mediator is often instructed to pass offers between the parties. This will continue until we hopefully find a solution.
Further joint meetings
It is very common for the mediator to ask the parties to meet together again during the course of the mediation. Sometimes the parties are all together, sometimes it™s just the lawyers and sometimes just you and the decision maker on the other side. The mediator may only apply this technique if they think it is going to help move towards a settlement.
Memorandum of Understanding
The Memorandum of Understanding is a document prepared by the mediator stating the proposed agreement.