Do you need to get a problem solved now i.e. recover money from a debtor to keep the business going, deal with an employee conflict to avoid time wasting, transfer the farm while satisfying your needs into the future, work through family difficulties after a surprising will, separate without an acrimonious court battle? Is your last resort a solicitor’s letter? Have you thought about Mediation?

What is Mediation and will it suit your needs?

Mediation is a process whereby an independent and neutral Mediator assists you to come to an agreement.

The Mediator is not a judge and does not give decisions on who is right or wrong. The Mediator is there to support you in identifying the issues and needs of those involved. Also, the Mediator may explore how those needs may be addressed and how you may come to an agreement. The content of Mediation is confidential to the parties and the Mediator may only share this information with others with express permission. This gives people an assurance that family/work or any other type of business remains private.

Generally, the Mediator will meet with each of the parties individually to discuss their reasons for coming to Mediation. However, you may decide to skip this stage for one reason or another. Thereafter, there may be one or many sessions with all involved present. It may also be that the parties remain in separate rooms and never meet. These meetings may take place in the private mediation room in our office, on the farm or at an alternative designated neutral venue. Mediation can assist parties to communicate difficult decisions or discuss difficult topics in an open and safe environment. If a mutually acceptable agreement can be reached, an agreement is signed. You may get legal advice on the agreement before signing. Once the agreement is signed, it is a binding legal document.

The Benefits

Generally, there are many benefits to mediation. Mediation is usually less adversarial in nature ie it is based on a consensus from all parties. The parties control the content and outcome of the Mediation. The parties to the Mediation decide what it is they want to discuss at Mediation. You may leave the room at any stage as it is a voluntary process. The Mediator may also decide to terminate the process.

Because of the confidential nature of mediation, it allows the Parties to negotiate freely and productively without fear of publicity. One of the main benefits to Mediation is that it can be scheduled soon after the dispute arises and often can be concluded in a single day. Overall, mediation is an inexpensive tool compared to right – based interventions such as court. If the dispute or difficulty was ever to reach the courts, neither the Mediator nor the parties are free to discuss the content of the Mediation. This generally inspires a more open discussion.

Conclusion

In conclusion, why not consider Mediation where you have a pressing difficulty that needs to be addressed. It may be that the matter you wish to discuss at Mediation does not come within the areas defined above. However, Mediation is wide ranging and will cater for most difficulties. Why not contact me to discuss the matter.

-Aoife Thornton