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Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to arrange a mediation?

It is usually possible to find a mediator and set up a mediation within a few days. Typically, the timescales are longer to allow time to choose a mediator, find a venue, find a date convenient to all parties etc.


How long will a mediation last?

Typically one day e.g. from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. However, some more straightforward mediations can be listed for an initial four hours period or less. More complex mediations can take several sessions.

In each case, the mediator will encourage the parties to allow time beyond the allotted period to allow the parties to complete their negotiations that day if sufficient progress is being made.


How do I find a mediator?

We can help you to find a mediator from one of our specialist panels. The mediators on our panels will undertake mediations throughout the South West of England (and beyond).

This website provides full details of all our mediators. It is also possible to download their CVs. However, if you would like some assistance in selecting a mediator please telephone us.


Who are our mediators?

All our mediators are experienced facilitators who have been trained in mediation and have appropriate accreditation. This means that they have been properly trained, have appropriate experience and undergo the necessary Continuing Professional Development.

Whilst mediators may be legally trained they will not advise on any aspect of law. If you think you require legal advice you should seek help from a solicitor (who may accompany you in the mediation).


How do we maintain standards?

One of the requirements of ASWM being registered with the Civil Mediation Council as a Registered Mediation Provider is that we ask for feedback from the parties involved in each mediation. This enables us to continue to improve our service as an organisation and the way that our mediators work.


How much does a mediation cost?

This will usually depend upon a variety of factors e.g. the value and complexity of the dispute, the number of parties involved, the experience of the mediator, the length of time it will take. In addition to the mediator’s fee (usually shared between the parties) each party may wish to pay for one or more of its own advisers (e.g. solicitor, barrister, expert) to attend, Professional advisers will also need to spend time beforehand preparing their client for the negotiation process.


How much does a mediator cost?

This may depend on a number of factors e.g.

  • a two-hour telephone mediation in respect of a small claim might be as little as £100 plus VAT per party.

  • a face to face mediation of up to four hours for a claim between £15,000 and £50,000 might be about £425 plus VAT per party.

If the claim is for more than £50,000, or involves other issues than money, the fees will need to be agreed with the mediator.

Mediator's expenses (including travel where chargeable) will be charged at cost.


Why use ASWM?

Members of the Association are drawn from a variety of backgrounds and provide a range of different mediation models across the private and public sector. We provide regular training courses open to all members which provide an opportunity to cross-fertilise techniques from the different disciplines, for the benefit of all mediator members and ultimately for the benefit of their clients.


What will happen on the day?

On the chosen day the mediator will greet the participants, invite each to give a brief summary of the dispute from their perspective and then seek to find a solution through discussion and questioning. Private Sessions may be held, and everything said will be confidential and not disclosed to the other participants without prior approval to do so.


How will you get the best out of mediation?

The process may vary slightly from one case to the next but, essentially, you may be required to prepare a summary of your case, what you would like to achieve and the reasons for this. As you prepare

  • Try not to get hung up about the legal “rights and wrongs”.  Focus clearly on what you wish to achieve and the reasons for this, so that you can explain this to the mediator.

  • Give some thought to what it is that you think that the other party really wants or needs.  Try to look for things that you can offer them, that they value, which cost you very little and, similarly, look for things that they can offer you which you value, but which may cost them very little.

  • Make sure that you understand what your best alternative is if you cannot negotiate an agreement. In particular, make sure you understand all of the potential outcomes if you were to have to go through the litigation process.


What happens when the mediation has ended?

Assuming the mediation has been successful, the mediator will recommend that the parties draw up an agreement so as to record exactly the terms which have been agreed.  If the mediation fails, for any reason, then the formal dispute resolution process will resume. The parties may have to explain why mediation was unsuccessful.

Which cases suit mediation and which are best dealt with at the Small Claims Court?

Mediation can be a great option for situations where there is a dispute, and where both parties would like it resolved. It can suit both small claims and big claims; including commercial, family and workplace disputes and many others.

However, if only one party feels there is something to sort out, mediation is often not a viable option. For example, in many situations where one party is chasing a payment or a redress for a contractual service it can be hard to get the other party to engage and to share the mediation fee. For many of these disputes, particularly for claims in the hundreds and not the thousands of pounds, the Small Claims Court might be the route to take. Once a claim has been issued the parties may be offered a free telephone mediation.

What do the words “civil” and “commercial” in Civil/Commercial mediation mean?

The use of the term “Civil” in this context comes from the use of the term “civil litigation” to describe any claims which are usually issued in the High Court, the County Court or a tribunal. It is a term of art used to distinguish such claims from “crime” or “criminal” proceedings which are generally pursued in the magistrates or Crown Court. “Commercial” usually refers to disputes which arise within the business world.

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