Mediation is a flexible, confidential, lower-cost, and more successful way of resolving disputes.  The process is overseen by an independent third-party (the mediator) who helps to achieve consensus and bring both sides to an agreement which works for all parties on all the issues in dispute.

“…mediation has a number of advantages over the court process. It is usually less expensive than litigation which goes all the way to judgment, although it should not be overlooked that most cases are settled by negotiation in the ordinary way. Mediation provides litigants with a wider range of solutions than those that are available in litigation: for example, an apology; an explanation; the continuation of an existing professional or business relationship perhaps on new terms; and an agreement by one party to do something without any existing legal obligation to do so.” Lord Justice Dyson (Head of the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal) in Halsey v Milton Keynes General NHS Trust [2004] 1 W.L.R. 3002

The courts have regularly stated the many advantages to be gained by parties attempting to mediate their disputes rather than resorting straight to litigation proceedings, just some of these advantageous are that:

·         It takes a fraction of the time and cost of court proceedings, meaning you can concentrate on what you do best – running your business.

·         Over 85% of mediations reach a successful outcome.

·         A more diverse range of solutions available than would be the case by proceeding to court.

·         As the outcome is negotiated and agreed by the parties, and not imposed by outsiders, it ensures a greater level of satisfaction with the result.

 

All legal and/or other rights of the parties remain unaffected by the process. 

Due to these overwhelming benefits, the stance taken by the courts has hardened and judges are now of the view that, generally, no case should come to trial without the parties having undertaken some form of alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation, to settle the case.  A failure to do so could lead to you facing higher legal costs, even if the court rules in your favour regarding the matter in dispute.

This is why the University of Hertfordshire is pleased to announce the opening of The Hertfordshire Mediation Centre, a new purpose-built mediation facility at our state-of-the-art de Havilland campus in Hatfield, created to help local businesses.  The Centre is available daily at times to suit you and your workforce; no matter the size or subject matter of the dispute.    

In addition to providing excellent facilities, The Hertfordshire Mediation Centre has a panel of mediators, who have worked in business themselves, who are highly experienced in helping to facilitate a mutually agreeable resolution to disputes involving companies of all sizes and within varying sectors.

The facility, and all our services, are accredited to Civil Mediation Council standards and is a member of the National Mediation Providers Association. 

We also offer a membership scheme whereby participants, in return for agreeing to refer any disputes to the Centre, will be provided with:

  • A training event in dispute prevention,  management and resolution for up to 10 your workers; and
  • A Mediation Voucher entitling you to a 50% discount in respect of your fee for a two-hour mediation relating to a dispute with a value of up to £10,000.

So come and explore the commercial benefits of mediation to your business at our breakfast event on the 18th March (breakfast included) by selecting here or email on meidate@herts.ac.uk.