No. The mediation will be run in a way the participants request. Ideally, this may be a combination of joint and separate sessions, but many mediations successfully conclude with both sides never having met at all.

No. Again, we will tailor the mediation to suit you. We can find rooms near to you, to do an attended in-person mediation, or it can be held virtually, or even a combination of both.

Yes. However, anything said at mediation is ‘without prejudice’, and confidential, and therefore you cannot talk about what happened at mediation in the court arena. However, this also means you can make ‘offers’ at mediation which cannot be referred to later, giving you greater freedom to negotiate. All of this will be explained in more detail at the start of the mediation, itself.

This is up to you. You can do, and this is often a great help, especially in providing background, but is not necessary to have a successful mediation. You can also decide whether you want to share what you send to the mediator with the other participants, and we will discuss this with you ahead of the mediation session. As a rule, parties are not charged for up to 300 pages of documents, and reading these are included in the mediation fee. If you have more documents, such as large court bundle you want the mediator to read, we can discuss if there will be any additional charge for that.  Once the mediation is over, all notes and documents will be destroyed by the mediator.

If your mediator has to travel to conduct your mediation, then you will not be charged for his or hers mileage, train fare, or hotel costs. Nor will the room-hire be charged if needed. You will be charged (within the UK) a maximum of two hours in total for travel time at a cost of £155+VAT per party, per hour.

A copy of our complaints procedure is available on request. We aim to resolve any complaint you may have as swiftly and as amicably as possible.

On the whole, we find a one-day session is enough to resolve differences, with everyone attending. It is not generally helpful to have separate sessions at different times with separate sides, and we try to avoid this. If the mediation session is making progress but has not resolved towards the end of the session, you always have the option of extending the session into that evening (if all participants agree) or scheduling a second mediation session as soon afterwards as possible.

This is up to you. It may be if a case is already one involving solicitor and/or barristers then a participant in mediation will feel happier having their representatives there, and this can often be helpful. However, it certainly is not obligatory and there are plenty of disputes resolved through mediators where lawyers aren’t involved at all.

Absolutely. They can also take part in the mediation if this is agreed by all the participants. It can often be helpful to have an extra ‘pair of ears’ especially if you are not have a solicitor or other professional present.

It is your choice to be at the mediation, and you are free to leave at any time. However, we try to agree with everyone at the start of a session that if you feel like doing this at any stage, you will at least allow the mediator to discuss this with you for five minutes, to see if there is something that can allow the session to continue.

It is not for the mediator to offer you advice or sit as a Judge. Nor will the mediator make decisions. The mediator is there to help facilitate the conversation between the participants. We will use our skills to help each party understand the other’s key issues and help everyone focus on what might be needed to bring things to a conclusion.

Yes, only the mediator and those attending the mediation will ever know what was discussed. Everyone signs up for a mediation agreement in advance and this includes the confidentiality. During the mediation, participants can say things to the mediator which can remain confidential and can only be shared with the other participants if this is agreed upon at the time.

This is a great advantage of mediation as opposed to court, as facts and issues can be shared that you may not want the other side to know in court.

Although our office is based in Torquay (hence the name – Torquay is often referred to as The English Riviera), we will mediate anywhere in the UK. We are more than happy to travel and can discuss or sort out venues for an in-person mediation. Mediation can also be undertaken by Zoom/Teams, and this can be particularly effective if participants live in different areas of the country.

Aside from the obvious points of saving a vast amount of time, money and stress, one of the key benefits is that you have the power to have an outcome that the court may just not have the jurisdiction or power to impose. The Ministry of Justice has recognised that court should be a ‘last resort’ largely because of these restrictions. There is also the risk factor. Too often I have seen Judges who through no fault of theirs are ill-prepared get papers late, or simply are bamboozled by a good barrister and miss key facts. As great as you might think you might be as a ‘witness’ – doing it for real and giving evidence is a daunting task and sometimes the best people make the worst witnesses. All sorts of things can go wrong in the court process, and once you are at a Final hearing you have no power or control of the outcome and are often in the hands of an overworked Judge who is short on time.

Mediation allows you to take back this control, and although there is still considerable financial outlay, it will be a drop in the ocean compared to a likely court case.

Hopefully, the parties will leave the mediation with a written agreement of what the resolution is, and this is then binding on them providing it is in writing and signed by them all. There should be a clear structure and pathway as to what has been agreed and by when. Should a participant not comply then, the matter can always be returned to mediation, or there is the option to try to enforce the agreement at court. (Although what takes place at the mediation is confidential – the agreed written outcome is not unless the parties agree otherwise).