What is currently going on in the world of mediation?
The Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) has recently published its tenth bi-annual audit reporting on the development of mediation in the UK. The report gives a helpful insight into key trends, challenges, and issues in the world of mediation which is of particular interest to contentious probate lawyers because of the number of these sorts of cases which end up in mediation.
Mediation is a cost-effective process
This is unsurprising given mediation is usually a much quicker and more efficient way of resolving disagreements, enabling the parties to disputes to avoid spending thousands of pounds on legal fees taking cases to trial
Mediation Enjoys Very High Success Rates
The audit reports a 72 % success rate the day of the mediation, followed by a further 20% in the period immediately after it, giving an overall success rate of 92%.
Online mediation is here to stay
Of the 17,000 reported mediations, 64% were conducted online. Despite the numbers reducing slightly since the Covid-19 pandemic (when 89% of mediations were online) the audit notes “it would seem the nature of the field has permanently changed”.
Not only do online mediations save travelling time and travelling expenses of attending in person, they also provide parties with the ability to join a mediation from the comfort of their own home thereby providing a safe and supportive environment. In contrast, having to prepare for and attend a trial at court inevitably puts considerable pressure on all of the parties involved.
Overall economic impact
The audit contains some impressive figures on the contribution which mediation makes to commercial life in the United Kingdom.
- Roughly £20 billion worth of cases are mediated each year.
- Since 1990, around £195 billion worth of cases have gone to mediation.
- Mediation has saved businesses around £5.9 billion per year in wasted management time, legal fees, lost productivity and damaged relationships.
Should there be mandatory mediation?
This question is of particular interest, in the light of the Ministry of Justice’s plans to introduce mandatory mediation for all contested claims under £10,000 in the County Court.
The number of contested civil law cases is put at an annual figure of 247,000 in comparison to just 17,000 mediated cases. This suggests that there must be many more cases that could be successfully resolved through mediation.
It is clear from the above that mediation provides significant benefits. In contrast, taking cases to trial is costly, time consuming and emotionally draining. The debate about mandatory mediation is discussed further by Paul Grimwood in his blog of 16 August 2021. Check it out here.
Get in touch with our contentious probate team
Should you wish to speak to someone regarding mediation, or in relation to any other contentious wills, trust or probate matter, then please contact a member of the team by calling 0330 175 7609 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Partner & Head of Contentious Probate
t: 01895 207859 | e: email@example.com