The mediator guides you through each step of the mediation
Whether this is your first time at mediation or you have attented a number of mediations in the part, the mediator will guide you through the process.
The parties sign a Mediation Agreement setting out the rules for the mediation including confidentiality and terms of business for the mediator.
The mediator will ask the parties to provide a summary of the dispute and the issues that are to be resolved.
Mediations can be online or in person. When the mediation is in person, each individual party is allocated their own private room at the venue in addition to there being a central meeting room for the mediator and any joint sessions. This ensures that everyone has their own private space as well as a meeting room that can accommodate all the parties and the mediator.
Quite often those attending a mediation will be accompanied by a solicitor, work colleague, expert, relative or friend.
Initially the mediator will meet privately with the parties and then may bring them together for a joint session during which each person will have the opportunity to speak and set out their position. This stage is called the “Opening Session”.
The mediator may choose to facilitate discussions after the Opening Session or may invite the parties to return to their respective rooms.
A mediator will then meet, in private sessions, with the individual parties and will assist them to explore and negotiate their way to a resolution. This may include reconvening a meeting between the parties and, if present, their lawyers, experts or other combination depending upon what may be beneficial to settling the differences.
Finally when a settlement is reached, the mediation concludes with the parties agreeing and signing a binding Settlement Agreement. It is only when a Settlement Agreement is signed by all parties that the dispute is settled.