Construction disputes between clients and contractors are not uncommon during a project. Often, the dispute can be resolved amicably by both parties, but this is not always possible, unfortunately. They can, and often do, prove costly, are time-consuming and cause stress and upset to those involved.
Mediation between two disputing parties is an increasingly popular alternative to costly and lengthy adjudication or litigation claims. Mediation has a high success rate in agreeing to a settlement between disputing parties, with 75% of cases being settled on the same day and a further 11% being settled within two weeks from the initial mediation date. As a result, courts take a dim view to those parties who refuse to enter into a mediation process before pursuing legal action, and sometimes penalise parties in terms of costs when passing their judgements.
We provide a highly skilled and experienced mediation service for a fixed fee. We help parties resolve their dispute quickly and efficiently, avoiding long drawn out legal processes that prove both costly and stressful.
Please contact us if you would like to enquire about our mediation service and how we can help you.
Mediation is a voluntary, non-binding and private dispute resolution process in which a neutral person, or mediator, assists the parties to reach a negotiated settlement.
Mediation is voluntary and cannot take place unless both parties agree to participate. On some occasions, parties are advised to mediate by way of a judicial recommendation, with a risk of cost sanctions being imposed against the non-compliant party. A mediation process can only be successful with the participation of all parties and will cease if one party refuses to participate further. As it is a voluntary process, a party is free to leave the process at any time.
One party may wish to invite the other party to enter into mediation, by way of a formal letter for example.
Mediation is non-binding, and entering into a mediation process does not bind the parties to reach a settlement with each other. The mediator has no authority to make a binding determination unless the parties specifically agree that he or she should do so. So, if no settlement is reached, the dispute will proceed to the next stage in the litigation process. However, if a settlement is agreed, the details of the agreement will form part of an enforceable contract. If mediation does not end in a settlement it can, and often does, act as a catalyst to settle. Most cases that do not settle on the day, settle soon after.
Mediation is private, and its confidential nature appeals to parties who wish to avoid courtroom scenarios which are public and can cause potential embarrassment. The mediation process is ‘without prejudice’ and absolutely confidential to the extent permitted by law. This can assist parties to reach a settlement, as it means they are able to disclose information, express views, make suggestions and offer concessions safe in the knowledge it will not be held against them if the dispute was to proceed further to trial. A party is free to refuse offers made during mediation, and they can even choose to walk out, without the risk of this being held against them if a court determines costs in the future. (If mediation breaks down, a party can formalise an offer made during the mediation by way of a Part 36 offer which would carry the usual cost implications).
Another benefit of the private nature of mediation is that the details of any settlement agreed are usually confidential. This can be an important part of dispute resolution, as some parties wish to keep private the terms of a settlement from the public or other interested parties.
Cheaper – Mediation is a much cheaper than alternative methods of resolving disputes such as adjudication, arbitration or court proceedings. Its cost effectiveness means that an already stressful situation is not worsened by accruing hefty legal fees.
Quicker – Mediation is much quicker than if a dispute was to go to adjudication or court, with most mediation sessions resulting in agreements on the day. A swift resolution allows both parties to put a stressful episode behind them and get on with their lives.
Less Stressful – Mediation is not as formal as a court hearing or adjudication process, where a person can feel intimidated by a line of questioning and feel they are being cross examined.
Private – Mediation is private, unlike court proceedings. It may be in the best interests of one or both parties to keep any agreement confidential.
First of all, both parties need to agree to mediation. Once that has been established, we ask both parties to sign a mediation agreement. A venue and date are then agreed (a mediation can be conducted online if both parties prefer and agree) and then the mediation itself takes place.
Prior to the actual mediation day itself, the mediator will contact each party separately to begin preparation work. This would involve a telephone conversation or online meeting and the reviewing of relevant documentation.
We endeavour to conduct proceedings with a view to helping the parties reach an agreement on the day of mediation. Whilst desirable, it is not always possible, and if this is the case and both parties wish to continue, we will carry out extra work to help reach a settlement.
Your mediator will be a RICS accredited mediator with the relevant training, expertise and experience of the construction industry to help both parties achieve a satisfactory outcome. Place an appointment request online.
We provide a fixed fee based on the amount in dispute (see table below);
|Value of dispute in total (inc counterclaims) exc VAT||Fixed fee including VAT per party|
|Up to £100,000||£900|
|£100,000 to £200,000||£1,450|
|£200,000 to £500,000||£1,800|
|£500,000 to £1M||£2,100|
|£1M to £2M||£2,400|
The amounts above include pre-mediation preparatory work by the mediator but do not include;
– Venue hire.
– Travel and accommodation if outside London and home counties.
– Additional time spent after the mediation day in helping to reach an agreement.