Soon, only the ostrich will refuse to mediate.
Rt Hon Sir Alan Ward

Conflict is a reality of business.  It needs to be managed carefully and proactively. The focus is now on managing disputes to get the best business outcome, rather than ‘winning’ at court.

More and more businesses are making the transition away from the litigation mindset, towards the mediation mindset – taking accountability for their dispute and keeping control over the management of it.

Consider some recent research and statistics:

In a recent survey, (Convention on Shaping the Future of International Dispute Resolution, 2014), 75% of users think mediation should be used as early as possible in a dispute’s life cycle.

The ‘Jackson ADR Handbook’, which is made available to every judge, emphatically endorses mediation. It states that ‘Research and statistics generally show good rates of success and good levels of satisfaction for parties’.

In the County Court, all small claims are automatically referred to mediation. This service is currently considering over 11,000 mediations a year, with a success of 63%. A resounding 95% of the users said they would use the service again.

In the Court of Appeal scheme for 2013/14, 51 cases were sent for mediation; in 17 the parties agreed to mediate and 12 were successful.

According to the latest CEDR Audit (2014), Mediation now saves UK businesses approximately £2.4 billion a year, by mitigating the costs associated with wasted management time, damaged relationships, lost production and legal fees.

The business case for mediation is looking increasingly compelling.