January 2024 – Liz Cooper, Les Stubbs & Ashley Lovelock

What to expect in preparing for and attending at compulsory mediation?

If you have been directed or invited to attend a compulsory mediation, there are a number of things you should be ready for. Being prepared is vital, as this will ensure you will be able to consider all of the options that you have with a clear mind.

The mediator will give each party a chance to “tell their story”, not to vent at the other party or criticise them, but to reflect on what is important to them and how they want the future to be, for themselves and others. This allows you to have some ownership of the process.
This in turn gives the mediator, and the lawyers, a better understanding of the dynamic between the parties and how they may best help you to work towards an agreement with which everyone can live with and move forward with their lives.
So it is important to know your facts, but also to give your honest perspective of the dispute. Keep it simple and “to the point”.

Think about what you hope to achieve out of the mediation. Be realistic, and honest with yourself with the decisions you make. If an agreement cannot be reached this is not the end. Do not feel pressured to make a decision on the spot if you need more time to consider the options.

Things can change on the day so take time to seek proper advice on issues which you had not considered or are being presented in a new light. The mediator may want an outcome but you need to make sure the outcome is the right one for you.

Remember that the process is confidential so nothing said during the mediation can be used against you in Court.