Resolve Disputes the Easy Way
Now we can do this the easy way or we can do it the hard way.
No, I am not selling a new financial product and I do not hold
your arm up your back, nor a gun in your ribs. My message is "
Don't litigate - mediate!"
That is the message from Andrew Taylor, a full time commercial
mediator who is dedicated to increasing the knowledge and
understanding of mediation in business. He goes on, "Compared to
litigation, mediation is faster, cheaper and more civilized. It
avoids the risk of damaging publicity and it offers scope for
In fact, Andrew Taylor is so enthusiastic, he has even written a
book about it!
Everyone knows what mediation is, yet few people are really
confident about how much they know, how it works, and whether
they can use it.
Mediation is a process in which a third person, "the mediator",
helps the parties in dispute to find a mutually satisfactory
outcome. You could say there is nothing exciting there.
Mediation must have been used long before any court system was
invented. Despite that, we tend to overlook mediation as a
possibility for settling disputes between employer and employee,
business and business.
These are characteristic advantages of mediation over litigation:
Speed - A dispute can be resolved by mediation in a matter of
weeks rather than the years it might take in court. If the case
is particularly urgent and the parties are prepared to pay for
priority and premium time, there is no reason why a commercial
case could not be concluded in a fortnight. The usual time scale
for a small commercial case is around six weeks, and for a more
complicated commercial case, around six months. The same case
might take five years to go through the court system.
Cost - In most cases, the saving over comparable litigation
costs is very large. Because litigation is expensive. It is
obviously advantageous to settle a dispute before litigating.
The Civil Procedure Rules encourage solicitors to do this. How
far you use your solicitors is up to you, but however you deal
with it, a case over in weeks will cost a lot less than one that
drifts on for years.
Of course the Court system takes no account of the value of your
time as a litigant. If you are a senior manager involved for say
1,000 hours over a period of three years, your lost time may
have been worth