What are the benefits of mediation?

If a case settles at mediation, then the benefits are obvious to the parties. No more legal fees and the fear and uncertainty of a trial.

A huge benefit from mediation is that any settlement is secured by the parties. No one, such as a Judge tell you what will happen - you decide.

Judges and Arbitrators can only impose what the law allows. The parties on the other hand can agree anything they want. So for example if Company A which supplies widgets to its one and only customer, sues Company B; and Company B doesn't pay, if Company A sues Company B, the court is restricted in its remedies. It can give Company A damages for breach of contract, but Company A may never sell another widget to Company B! In mediation Company B could pay for half of the money it owes and agree further guarantee contracts with Company A for 5 years which secures Company A's future. This flexibility is a key benefit.

You can secure apologies which the court can only give in limited circumstances. Sometimes "sorry" is all that a claimant is really after.

You can be honest and open as the process is without prejudice. This is not a passport to insult your opponent despite the fact that many parties involved in commercial disputes often express that desire in mediation. Being frank and clear often cuts through the legal jargon which keeps cases running for so long with the parties not talking. That can be an enormous frustration for people in business.

Mediations are definitely much quicker that the court processes. They can be set up in anything from as short as a week; and commonly on 1 working day. Court proceedings can take years to get to trial and last weeks at trial - and then as a result of the legal constraints of evidence, you may never get to say what you actually wanted to say.

Mediation is not cheap but it is cheaper than running most commercial disputes from tart to trail through the courts.

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