Q. What are the real benefits of mediation over litigation or arbitration?
A. There are many. It costs much less and it’s faster (weeks rather than years). it’s private and confidential. It’s about looking forward rather than just looking back. It allows you maintain control of the dispute rather than handing that control to a Judge (thus removing the uncertainty and risk of going to Court) and it  establishes the needs and interests of both parties rather than thrashing out legal positions.
Q. If I am in litigation, surely it looks like a sign of weakness if I seek to or agree to mediate?
A. Even when your lawyers tell you that you have a great case, you take risk in going to Court. A UK Judge is recorded as saying that “only 70% of dead certs win”. You have to incur a lot of cost and a lot of valuable business time preparing for a court case – litigation is very expensive and very slow, not to mention the enormous stress involved. Irish Courts have rules that allow the Judge to refer your case to mediation and many of them are doing it – so why wait for the Judge to tell you? Many large businesses have adopted a culture and have publically committed by way of a Pledge that they are willing to explore mediation when they find themselves in a dispute. The Irish Government has recognised the enormous cost and waste with litigation and recognises mediation as a highly plausible alternative.
Q. What is the mediation day like?
A. Have a look at www.icma.ie and you will see a short film/documentary that gives you really good insight into the mediation process.
Q. What does the mediator do that’s different to a Judge?
A. He listens to both sides privately and confidentially. He listens for interests and needs more than their legal positions. He examines the strengths and weaknesses of both sides and their view of each other’s positions. He gets parties to review and alternatives to resolution. He does not make any decisions – he is not a Judge. He helps the parties to make wise commercial decisions.
Q. Does mediation really work?
A. There is no guarantee, however the results are showing a whopping 80% success rate, so it’s well worth trying.