Mediation and Structured Negotiation
ACCELERATED DISPUTE RESOLUTION
According to Ministry of Justice statistics only 3% of claims brought in the courts of England and Wales proceed to trial. That percentage has been fairly consistent for several years. Claims are abandoned for various reasons including lack of funding for legal fees; many are thrown out and many more are settled before trial.
Mediation and structured negotiation are processes which accelerate the settlement route, conserve resources and preserve important relationships. The intervention of a skilled mediator makes all the difference in terms of speed, cost and outcome.
You Don't Know What You Don't Know
Mediation adds value at any stage of a dispute: the earlier the better. An early agreement can save thousands of pounds and hundreds of man hours. There are other benefits too:
- a project back on track,
- supply chain secured,
- improvements to processes,
- emerging risks identified before they become liabilities,
- valuable relationships restored before it is too late.
Sometimes all it takes is a pause in the cycle of blame and denial just long enough for a structured and well managed face-to-face meeting. The independent third party makes a big difference to the quality and potential of that kind of meeting.
The ‘without prejudice’ status of a mediation allows the parties to share ideas and build options. The clarity of this status provides certainty that ideas are not received as offers and demands are not conveyed as threats.
One of the pillars of successful mediation is that people can speak freely without fear of either their words or their behaviour being shared with the wider world. There are two levels of confidentiality in mediation: the process and the conversations the parties and their advisers have with the mediator.
Location to Suit the Parties
What The Parties Say
…we always learn something that we can change immediately to improve our performance.
I found Amanda to be very effective demonstrating what, to me, are the key attributes of a mediator, namely being informed, incisive, challenging and encouraging. This was the case both in preparation discussions and on the day itself. Amanda was also quick to pick up on potential side issues which could affect the process, and also to pick up on key points from each individual’s perspective. Her broad background knowledge, not only relating to pensions, help both from a practical perspective and also to provide a credibility and wisdom to her presence.
Amanda’s style is different from other mediators that I have met. At times the process was not as comfortable as other mediations I have been involved with; that is not a criticism, more an observation of the effectiveness of her approach.
I liked Amanda’s approach of dealing directly with the clients. She did not ignore them and sought the views from all. Friendly and approachable.
One Size Doesn't Always Fit All
Designing the right process to suit the people and the problem.
Includes up to 4 hours preparation, 1 day mediation and reasonable follow-up.
Appropriate for: most commercial cases
Includes up to 10 hours preparation, half-day mediation to narrow issues, follow-up and further 1 day mediation.
Appropriate for: complex commercial cases, multi-party disputes, construction projects and disputes involving interest groups and unions.
1 DAY preparation Plus 1 day mediation
Includes up to 10 hours preparation, 1 day mediation and reasonable follow-up.
Appropriate for: commercial cases and employment cases
Includes up to 10 hours preparation, 1 day Open Space and 1 day follow-up.
Appropriate for: groups from 6 to 100’s. Suitable for complex problem solving, designing strategy and plans, multi-layered teams and disputes between departments.
Business Benefits - Strategy
Business Benefits - Project Management
Business Benefits - Financial Planning
Business Benefits - Restructuring
Strategy v Plan
Strategy is the ‘where?’, ‘what?’ and ‘why?’. A plan is about tactics: ‘how?’ and ‘by whom?’. The terms are often confused.
Read this article from my favourite ‘thoughtful’ blog.