• Gregory Hunt

Mediation is marvellous - why is it not more mainstream yet?

Earlier this week I mediated a commercial dispute which demonstrated to me, and to the parties, the power of mediation.

It was a slightly odd situation in that other than knowing which sector the dispute was from (clue in the picture), I did not have a clue what the dispute was about. I had asked for documents from the parties (we had been unable to speak by phone or video call before the mediation) but had nothing from them.

It did not matter. Two hours after we started we had an executed settlement agreement and the end to a business dispute that was on its way to court.

Mediation is so marvellous it is criminal it is not more mainstream - yet

It was also interesting that one of the parties had their insurer present. This is not of course unusual, but it not as common as some may think. Sometimes parties tell the mediator they have full authority to settle and do not mention this means after they have checked with their insurer. Often, if the party calls their insurer, the case does not settle as the insurer has not been party to all the relevant discussions and only hears the financial settlement, which may be more than they are prepared to pay.

By having their insurer present this particular party was able to negotiate knowing that there was no issue with their insurer and then when agreement was reached the funds would be available.

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