Mediation is a voluntary process in which participants work together to resolve a dispute. The process is confidential: the information shared cannot be used in court. It is also without prejudice: there is no admission of guilt. It is facilitated by a neutral intermediary – the mediator – who guides the participants through the process in an informal and non-judgmental way. The focus is on finding a solution that meets the needs of those involved in the dispute. Once an understanding has been reached, an agreement is drawn up by the participants themselves or their solicitors. Once signed, it becomes legally binding.
Growing evidence shows that the cost for a mediation is well below the expenses generated by pursuing a dispute in court. That relates to all types of dispute, both on a national and international level.
According to the 2014 audit by CEDR, more than two thirds of of mediation cases are resolved on the day, some 11% shortly after (the combination of these numbers is similar to previous years).
The growing success of non-lawyer mediators
The same report also reflects that disputes are increasingly entrusted to a rising number of mediators from a non-legal background: Amongst working mediators, non-lawyers are a fast growing group – dominance of the profession by lawyers has now shrunk to 52%.