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About Mediation

What is Mediation

There is no universally accepted definition of mediation and no single mediation model. Meditation at its core, however, is a voluntary process where persons needing to resolve their differences can come together to work out solutions, in a respectful and legally protected space, with the facilitation of a neutral third party.


While there is a definite place for Courts and the litigation process, mediation offers directly accessible, bespoke, cost-effective, quality solutions with better long-term outcomes for everyone.


Having worked extensively in both areas, I am persuaded that where decisions affect people’s lives and wellbeing directly, where relationships matter, where time and money require focused and timely resolution, and where there are no pressing points of law to be determined, mediation is the answer.


The optics of the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation favours the definition of Mediation as a problem-solving process. For Professor Lawrence Susskind:


“Mediation as problem-solving requires three things:

1. a willingness on the part of all the relevant stakeholders to work together to resolve the problem or deal with the situation.

2. the availability of a trusted “neutral” with sufficient knowledge and skill to manage difficult conversations; and

3. an agreement on procedural ground rules (i.e., confidentiality, timetable, agenda, good-faith effort, etc.).”


For the mediation process to succeed, it is essential that it must be:

  1. Voluntary: all parties must want to mediate, and any party can stop the mediation at any time.

  2. Impartial: mediators are neutral, don’t take sides, are there for all parties equally and have no stake in the outcome. Mediators ensure that parties feel equally heard and have equal time to put forward their concerns, interests and thoughts.

  3. Confidential: The entire process is held on a without prejudice basis. This means that information shared with the mediator is kept confidential, with limited exceptions (similar to those that apply to lawyers, therapists and counsellors). Nothing shared during the mediation process can be referred to in court proceedings, should the mediation fail. This includes discussions and documents exchanged.

  4. Control: In mediation, you are in control: you decide what is discussed and you, not the mediator, make the decisions. Mediators do not give advice, only information and guidance to assist decision-making. They explain what things you should be considering and can point you in the right direction to seek additional professional advice on any specific issues.

The mediation process generally follows the format of:

  1. Introduction and welcome

  2. Opening statements

  3. Setting the agenda

  4. Identifying and exploring the problem

  5. Separate sessions

  6. Generating and evaluating options

  7. Reaching a settlement

  8. Finalising the agreement.

So what characteristics make someone a “great” mediator? Commonly the five most valuable characteristics are:

  1. Approachability

  2. Dedication

  3. Impartiality

  4. Perceptiveness

  5. Trustworthiness.

I look forward to working with you to find a mediated solution.

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