What We Do
Cadogans can now offer a commercial mediation service. Daphne Wassermann, a Technical Director and experienced mechanical engineer, has completed the Academy of Experts course in commercial mediation and is a qualified dispute resolver (QDR). She has carried out over twenty mediations and is on the panel of Catalyst Mediation (see www.catalystmediation.co.uk).
Mediation is a well-established method of resolving disputes and in some parts of the UK it is now common practice for courts to require the parties to try mediation before proceeding to litigation. Parties can also be penalised when costs are allocated if they fail to try mediation.
There are many advantages to mediation. It is quick and inexpensive. It is private, confidential and without prejudice. The parties retain control of the outcome. And it has a success rate of over 80%.
The process is voluntary and the parties agree the mediator and venue for the mediation. After an initial explanation of the process by the mediator, the parties introduce themselves. Each party then makes a short opening statement summarising its case.
The major part of the mediation often takes place in private meetings between the mediator and each party in turn. Initially each party has the opportunity to air its grievances and complaints, explaining its priorities. At an appropriate point the mediator will move the discussion forward to focus on the future and search for imaginative solutions.
Once agreement is reached, the settlement can be verbal, in writing or via an Arbitral Award in which the mediator is appointed as Arbitrator for the purposes of drafting the award.
Unlike litigation or arbitration, the settlement is not necessarily financial. The solution may be to rectify faulty workmanship, provide secure alternative employment or offer alternative goods and services. Sometimes a simple apology is what a party really wants. The process is completely open-ended.
Mediation is also useful where the dispute goes across national or international boundaries, as it does not depend on any particular laws or jurisdiction.
The role of the mediator is not to give a judgement but to help both sides to achieve a mutually satisfactory agreement. The big advantage over more formal methods of dispute resolution is that the relationship between the two sides is not compromised and they are helped to move forward together.