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Archive for the ‘Mediation’ Category

John Wick: Chapter 2(2017)

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Written by Rupert Wright

December 7th, 2016 at 1:55 pm

It’s Good To Talk

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There is increasing evidence that courts and employment tribunals now expect litigants to seriously consider some form of mediation before legal action reaches the courtroom. Paul Trincas and Andrew Egan, corporate lawyers with Wantage solicitors, Charles Lucas & Marshall explain why businesses may soon have very little option but to mediate.

Paul Trincas
Paul Trincas

Business disputes can be expensive both from a time and cost perspective. Although the courts and tribunals cannot compel anyone to attempt to resolve their business or employment dispute, they expect the parties involved to at least have considered some form of alternative dispute resolution.

The recent Court of Appeal case, Rolf v De Guerin considered various issues – including the defendant’s refusal to mediate.

Although the defendant won at trial the claimant appealed on a number of grounds including the cost order which the trial judge had made in favour of the defendant. The claimant argued that the defendant’s refusal to take part in mediation amounted to unreasonable behaviour.

On appeal, when asked by the court why he had been unwilling to mediate, the defendant stated that if he had participated in mediation he felt he would have had to accept ‘his guilt’ and that he wanted his ‘day in court.’

Whilst the judge acknowledged that mediation might not have provided a solution, he felt that it was unreasonable on the defendant’s part to spurn offers to enter mediation.

The lesson to be drawn from this is that the courts now expect litigants to seriously consider and enter into some form of mediation. You may succeed in your claim but if you fail to engage in mediation without a legitimate excuse, you are likely to have costs ordered against you.

Employment Tribunal reforms: will employers feel forced to compromise?

Andrew Egan
Andrew Egan

The government proposes reforms to Employment Tribunals this year with the aim of reducing the number of claims.

It has been argued this may adversely affect small to medium sized businesses because  a form of compulsory early mediation through ACAS will force more cases to be settled out of court on a financial basis, through compromise or settlement agreements.

The concern is that employers may be more tempted to settle this way because of the potential level of costs the government is proposing for employers who might otherwise lose a tribunal case.

Many employers, however, already use compromise agreements to settle actual or potential employee claims anyway. Average settlement figures tend to be less than the full cost to employers of defending a case in the tribunal and will be cheaper than a potential fine of £5,000, plus the cost of reimbursing the employee’s claim fees and having an award of compensation against the employer.

Obviously settlement by way of mediation saves time and money and the inconvenience and hassle of having to attend the tribunal and give evidence rather than being at work and being productive.

What are the advantages of mediation?

Mediation will bring a certainty of outcome. It will avoid either the costs of proceeding to court, or, alternatively, if court proceedings have started, it will avoid having to proceed to trial with all the costs and uncertainties involved.

It is also independent of the court process and is a relatively informal procedure. Although the mediator facilitates settlement, it is actually the parties themselves who come to their own agreement and model the terms of any agreement.

What costs are involved?

These can vary, depending upon the nature of the dispute, the amount involved, the time required and the mediator appointed. The parties will have to share the mediator’s costs equally.

If the parties have a legal representative and wish to have their representative present, then the parties will have to pay their respective legal advisors. It is normally only in more complex or larger claims that parties wish their legal representatives to be present.

If the outcome of mediation is successful, then it may well be time and money well spent.

For further information contact Paul Trincas on paul.trincas@clmlaw.co.uk or for employment related issues, contact Andrew Egan on andrew.egan@clmlaw.co.uk or call 01235 771234.

Written by Paul Trincas

March 8th, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Posted in Mediation,News

Tagged with ,

Avoid Costly Business Disputes – Mediate!

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Business disputes detract the business owner away from their prime objective – to make money. Paul Trincas, Head of corporate services at law firm, Charles Lucas & Marshall, highlights the benefits of using mediation to resolve such disputes.

Business disputes, especially if they lead to litigation, can be costly. Courts nowadays, although they cannot compel anyone to attempt to resolve their business dispute, nevertheless expect the parties involved to at least have considered some form of alternative dispute resolution.

Mediation is one of the main forms of alternative dispute resolution – and one of the most successful.

  •  Why use Mediation ?

Mediation is a process of resolving disputes which is a relatively informal procedure and, if successful, will avoid further acrimony, the potential costs of litigation and the risk and uncertainties involved.

  • What is the success rate ?

Statistics show that the use of mediation to resolve business disputes has a high rate of success. Over 80 % of cases have a positive outcome to the parties.

  • What exactly is mediation ?

Mediation is totally outside the court process and involves, in effect, a without prejudice meeting between the parties, facilitated by an appointed and trained mediator, whose task it is to find common ground and “steer” the parties towards a settlement.

  • When to use mediation ?

Mediation can be used at any stage of a dispute. It can be used either before court proceedings or at any stage after court proceedings have commenced.

  • What types of disputes can Mediation be used for ?

Any – that is the beauty of mediation. Trained and experienced mediators are available who have experience in virtually any form of dispute.

  • What are the advantages?

If successful, the main advantages are:

It will bring finality to the dispute and certainty of outcome.

It will avoid either the costs of proceeding to court, or, alternatively, if court proceedings have started, it will avoid having to proceed to trial with all the costs and uncertainties involved.

It is independent of the court process and is a relatively informal procedure.

Although the mediator facilitates settlement, it is actually the parties themselves who come to their own agreement and model the terms of any agreement.

  • What costs are involved ?

These can vary, depending upon the nature of the dispute, the amount involved, the time required and the mediator appointed.

There are many organisations which provide trained and experienced mediators.

The parties will have to pay the mediator’s costs, shared equally.

If the parties have a legal representative and wish to have their legal representative present, then the parties will have to pay for their respective legal advisors. It is normally only in the more complex or larger claims that parties wish their legal representatives to be present.

If the outcome of mediation is successful, then it is time and money well spent.

For further information contact Paul Trincas on 01635 521212 or paul.trincas@clmlaw.co.uk

Written by Paul Trincas

January 26th, 2012 at 8:42 am