Not only does mediation let you keep more control of a dispute than legal action. Mediation also lets you control the final outcome and negotiate exactly the settlement you need.
The ultimate control – abandoning mediation
You can always walk away from a mediation. There is no compulsion to stay if you don’t like the way it is going. You do not give up any rights to taking legal action. Mediation only lasts for as long as you want it to.
You can also choose whether to embark on mediation in the first place, and if so when. However our advice, in almost every situation, is to embark on it at the earliest possible opportunity.
The commonest reasons for abandoning a mediation are:
- The mediation is not making progress and there are no new approaches to explore
- One party is acting in bad faith.
Accepting the outcome of mediation
The mediator does not make the final decision on how your dispute is settled. You do. The mediator will help you make that decision, but you do not have to accept their advice.
The final outcome of the mediation is also not binding until you sign it. The outcome is only finalised when you voluntarily agree to it.
Stopping the unstoppable
Some disputes, especially in employment disputes, rapidly gain a momentum and become unstoppable and unpleasant. Mediation is an excellent way to stop the clock, embark on a period of honest reflection, and stop matters getting out of control
Controlling what the outcome is
For many people this is the overwhelming advantage of mediation over other forms of action. It lets you choose what you want to get, not what someone else thinks that you want. You can negotiate and drill down on particular points of detail – for example the timing of repayments.
You control the day of the mediation
You can set the date for mediation – often very quickly – to suit yourselves. You are not dependent on the timetable of a slow government bureaucracy.
You also have considerable flexibility of who is there, whether or not you have legal representation, and which mediator you use. You can decide whether to meet face-to-face for by e-mediation. These decisions need to be agreed with the other party.