About Mediation

The Principles of Mediation

  • A neutral third party, the mediator, assists those involved in a dispute to find a way to deal with the various issues and to reach an agreement themselves, rather than have it decided for them
  • In mediation the power to decide is with the people who are in dispute, no one else
  • The mediation is set up and conducted on a “without prejudice” basis and is confidential, so those involved are free to share their thoughts and feelings during the mediation knowing  that what they say or hear cannot ordinarily be taken outside the mediation.
  • Mediation can happen at any stage in a dispute or relationship breakdown
  • Mediation offers an opportunity to build or rebuild important relationships whether they are personal or business relationships
  • Mediation is a dignified, private way in which to resolve disputes and conflict


The People Involved and Their Roles


The parties – the people who are in dispute with each other or who are representing their organisations and who are able to enter into the agreement which brings the dispute to an end.

The role of the parties is to:

  • participate in the mediation with a positive intention to resolve the issues and to bring the dispute to an end
  • play a full part in the process in the knowledge that it is their opportunity to say what they think and how they feel in their own words and to have their voice heard by the others involved
  • listen to what is said by the others involved


The lawyers – the professionals representing the parties

Lawyers are expected to:

  • attend the mediation with their client unless otherwise agreed
  • provide support and advice to their client
  • engage positively with the process
  • help find a solution that is acceptable to their client and everyone else involved; and while explaining and clarifying their client’s legal position insofar as may be appropriate (since mediation takes place in the shadow of the law) recognising that factors other than purely legal considerations may well be relevant
  • prepare a legally binding  document recording what the parties have agreed and supervising the completion of it


The mediator

The mediator’s role is to:

  • be completely impartial and non-judgemental
  • use a range of skills to make it possible for the people involved to reach an agreement that resolves the issues between them
  • ensure the mediation goes as smoothly as possible
  • control of the process , not the outcome
  • be supportive of both or all parties in their attempts to resolve the issues, sometimes to test their perceptions privately where appropriate and generally to help them reach terms that all can find acceptable


The Mediation Process

  • The parties agree that they wish to try to resolve the dispute through mediation
  • A mediator is appointed by both parties, through their lawyers , if any
  • The mediator agrees the process with the parties or their lawyers if they are to be involved. The mediation may take place over one whole or part of a day, or by way of a series of shorter meetings over a period of time
  • In some matters the mediator may agree with the parties that they will be joined by a co mediator to help with the process
  • The agreement to mediate is prepared by the mediator for signature by everyone involved
  • The mediator will speak and may meet with the lawyers prior to the mediation to introduce themselves, to deal with any questions and to discuss the preparation for the mediation
  • The mediatior may speak with the parties before the mediation to introduce themselves and deal with any questions
  • Documents may be prepared prior to the mediation, depending upon the process that has been agreed with the mediator
  • Prior to the mediation the mediator will explain how the process will work.  Depending upon the design of the process, the mediator may meet the parties separately or together for some or all of the time during the mediation
  • As the mediation progresses those involved better understand their own needs and interests and those of the other party and are able to create a solution that is acceptable to all
  • If lawyers are present, then when an agreement is reached the lawyers prepare the necessary documentation for immediate signature. In commercial matters if there are no lawyers present the parties will draw up the agreement, often with the help of the mediator.  If the mediation relates to family matters and there are no lawyers present, the parties will seek legal advice to formalise the agreement.


The Venue

  • A mediation takes place at a location agreed by those concerned. Sometimes parties prefer that it is held at an entirely  neutral venue but sometimes will agree to use a lawyer’s office.


The Cost of Mediation



The financial cost of a mediation is shared by the parties involved.  The cost of a mediation depends upon the nature and complexity of the dispute and the design of the process (eg over one day or a series of shorter meetings).   Details of our fee rates will be provided upon request. The fees, details of any expenses to be paid and arrangements for payment will be agreed at the outset of the matter, before the mediator undertakes any work.


Whether the mediation takes place over one day or over a series of shorter meetings, perhaps five meetings of two hours over a few weeks, mediation usually resolves disputes more quickly than engaging in correspondence with or without lawyers, and/or going to Court

Energy and emotion

Mediation can be an emotional and is often a difficult process to go through.  The attraction of mediation is that those involved can say, in their own words and in their own way, what they want to say, and express how they are feeling.  Communication between them is direct and face to face, or through the mediator, there and then, not over time through their respective lawyers.   There may be some waiting and wondering during the mediation, but there is no waiting for a telephone call or for an email, a text or a letter to arrive. Energy is used in a positive way, seeking a creative resolution to the matter, and each person is actively involved.


Often disputes arise between individuals, between organisations, or between individuals and organisations where once there was a strong and valued relationship, or a desire to have such a relationship.  Mediation provides an opportunity to build or rebuild a relationship for the mutual benefit of all those involved.

Where the mediation is in relation to family issues, mediation can help couples to sort out their arrangements for finance, children and any other matters in a dignified way, and in a way that enhances the prospects of their being able to continue working together effectively as parents where children are involved.


To find out  how mediation may help you in your situation contact Lise Seager on 0117 962 8889 or email l.seager@liseseager.co.uk