This is reflected in CEDR’s most recent biennial audit but also, more recently, among senior members of the judiciary.
Recognising we face a potential avalanche of claims resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, there are concerns about how our justice system will cope.
Mediation (and other ADR processes) are rightly being looked at as cost-efficient and effective solutions.
A recent article in The Law Society Gazette explores the continued rise of Commercial Mediation pulling together voices from leading institutions and practitioners.
The low down
With a first-day settlement rate of 72%, commercial mediation has been showing an effective way forward in disputes for a generation or more. Mediating has saved business an estimated £40bn since 1990. Senior judges and government ministers seemingly form an orderly line to extol its benefits. Mediation is quicker and cheaper than court and gives the parties a shot at maintaining a working relationship. But this track record of success has raised the prospect of something many mediators fear – compulsory mediation. They argue that commercial mediation works precisely because it is voluntary.
A parlour game among experienced mediators is to speculate on whether there is any disagreement, however unlikely, that could not be mediated. Commercial mediation covers anything from contractual, partnership and shareholder conflicts to disputes over negligence, property, wills, and even funerals. ‘We regard commercial mediation as mediation of any case that could end up in civil court that is not related to custody and divorce,’ explains Andy Rogers, a practising mediator and executive team member at the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR).
ADR should no longer be viewed as ‘alternative’ but as an integral part of the dispute resolution process. That process should focus on ‘resolution’ rather than ‘dispute’
Many cases miss the opportunity of mediation simply because one party has enough money to avoid the responsibility to try and settle… there is a responsibility to try and resolve disputes