Mediation: A quick and low cost alternative to litigation
The main advantages are that it is a very short process (lasting from a few hours to a day), low-cost, private and has few rules. it is very easy to set up – all the parties need to do is decide who they want to appoint as the mediator and once the proposed mediator has accepted appointment (mediation is usually before a single mediator) the process can commence.
Lawyers do not need to be involved, especially for low-level disputes (in more complex cases, parties do involve their lawyers in mediation but this may not be necessary). Mediation has been made even more accessible during Covid times when many mediations are conducted online using platforms like Zoom and Teams, which helps to streamline the process significantly.
Also, because mediation is private and confidential, nothing said at the mediation meeting can be disclosed outside of the process, nor can any statements made in the mediation be used in any dispute between the parties unless they agree. This means that the parties are free to talk through the mediator and to make admissions and concessions without worrying these will then be used against them in any legal proceedings. Indeed the fact that mediation took place (even a failed one) is private to the parties who cannot even disclose this to a judge in legal proceedings between the same parties unless all the parties to mediation agree.
One question often asked about mediation is “Why do I need this process when I can just negotiate myself with the counter party?” There are several reasons: the parties are often unable to communicate easily due to their history (i.e being in dispute with each other) and in many cases they have already tried and failed to negotiate; the mediator is acting as a go between thereby enabling the parties to speak openly with the mediator who (where permitted by the parties) may convey their position to the other party; and since the mediator is not “bound up” in the dispute, it enables the parties to engage but without any (or with much less) emotion and tension.
For Circle Sq. members looking to resolve disputes with or without the involvement of lawyers, Jonathan or Marcus are available to act as mediator. In addition, their services can also be used for neighbour disputes as well as small-scale commercial disputes. Please feel free to contact Jonathan and Marcus where you are considering utilising mediation to resolve a dispute. Both are open to discussing the process with anyone interested at no charge. Please note they do not give legal advice. Members are of course welcome to consult their own lawyers and/or appoint alternative mediators. Should any Circle Sq. member wish to appoint Jonathan or Marcus as a mediator, they will receive favourable rates for their services.
Jonathan is a former solicitor (partner of international law firm Ince) and practising barrister. Founder of Lux Mediation, he is a top-ranked, full-time UK mediator with over 40 years’ experience in a wide range of disputes including complex, high-value and international cases. Jonathan has been rated a ‘Leading Mediator’ by Legal 500 and by Who’s Who Legal: Mediation, for his exceptional talent and dispute resolution skills.
Fluent in English, French and German, Jonathan is able to mediate complex international disputes and has also dealt with a broad range of smaller disputes. He is a fellow of the Civil Mediation Council (CMC) and accredited by the International Mediation Institute (IMI), CEDR and the Academy of Experts. He holds IMI cross-cultural competence accreditation and understands how cultural and behavioural issues can create barriers to settlement and how this needs to be addressed as part of any mediation or arbitration process.
Marcus is a CEDR accredited mediator, specialising in commercial disputes, particularly in the shipping, energy, mining and logistics sectors. He spent over 30 years at leading international law firm HFW, which culminated in four years as managing partner from April 2015. As a lawyer, he specialised in dispute resolution with a particular interest in insurance, shipping, energy, mining, and logistics, advising on disputes arising out of commercial contracts, corporate transactions and insolvencies. He also advised on regulatory and risk management matters within these sectors.
Marcus was President of the UK Chamber of Shipping for the year 2014-15 and is also a Panel Member of London Chambers of Arbitration and Mediation. Marcis retired from general practise in 2019 and now focuses on mediation.
“Jonathan Lux leads the voting worldwide, with unanimous praise coming from all corners of the globe… he is recognised for his alternative dispute resolution capabilities. His skills and integrity mark him out as one of the best I’ve ever come across.” – Who’s Who Legal
“Jonathan was excellent. He was calm and persuasive.” – Stuart Thompson, Mills & Reeve
“Your patience and understanding, qualities which only come with experience, were much in evidence. Given a suitable opportunity, I shall not hesitate to recommend you as a mediator in the future” – Harold Berwin, Darlington Hardcastles Solicitors
Please email Teresa@circlesq.co for more information.