April 11th, 2013
Our managing Director Mike Talbot has recently appeared in Psychologies magazine, providing advice on how we can do to deal with difficult neighbours. Please see below to read the article.
February 26th, 2013
Over the past few years we have seen a growing number of local and housing authorities using mediation effectively when working with young people. Mediation has proven to be a highly effective means for bringing family members back together and into a situation where they can cohabit harmoniously. Somerset County Council and Mendip District Council are the latest local authorities to use mediation in an attempt to keep young people off the streets and in their family homes Somerset design new service to prevent youth homelessness . Prevention of homelessness is key to the new service. Almost 50 per cent of young people in Somerset say family breakdown is the reason that they made a housing enquiry.
As concerns of rising homelessness increase due to the economic climate and the additional personal pressures that accompany it, the use of mediation to combat these issues can be highly effective in finding a quick, cost-effective and productive method of dispute resolution.
November 19th, 2012
A recent judgement in the Court of Appeal considered the way in which a party had been penalised for refusing to take part in mediation. The case concerned a professional negligence claim, brought by a family regarding the advice they had received in relation to a tax matter.
The defendants, a solicitors’ firm, believed from the outset that the claim had no realistic prospect of success. They refused to enter into mediation on this basis, their argument being in some ways consistent with that in the oft-quoted case of Halsey vs Milton Keynes General NHS Trust .
The defendants were in the end, vindicated. Although some aspects of their defence did not succeed, they were largely considered to have not been negligent, so the claim was overall unsuccessful. But the judge considered that the claimants should ‘only’ have to pay 50% of the defendant’s costs, as the latter had refused mediation: an example of a punitive costs sanction for refusing to take part in ADR.
The costs issue was appealed by the defendants. Their argument was that mediation would never have had a chance of reaching a settlement: the parties were apart by around one million pounds, and there appeared little room for manoeuvre. In the end, the costs calculation was revised: instead of 50%, the claimants had to pay (a more usual) 60% of the solicitor’s firm’s costs. The appeal judge had considered that a mediated settlement was so unlikely that the defendants had been reasonable in their refusal to mediate.
There is still an expectation, as was made clear after the Halsey case, that claimants and defendants should routinely consider ADR, including mediation, and that there could be costs sanctions for failing to participate. However, what this case reinforces is that there are cases in which such refusal will be considered to be reasonable.
October 18th, 2012
Dubai continues to demonstrate its commitment to more speedy and efficient ways of resolving trade disputes. The Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry has now streamlined the way that businesses can initiate and track mediation cases, as the popularity of mediation in the region continues to grow. Mediation cases handled by Dubai Chamber rose from 205 in 1996, to 337 in 2000, 379 in 2005, and right up to 1,009 in 2010. Source. The comprehensive online facility will minimise people’s travel time when setting up and preparing for mediation, and will greatly speed up the processing of mediation cases.
Our principal, Mike Talbot, has a particular interest in this development, having recently led on a project with the UK Ministry of Justice to increase awareness and use of commercial mediation in Jordan. ‘In Jordan, however…’, says Mike, ‘…people expect mediation to be provided through the courts: it is interesting that Dubai may be looking at mediation as a commercial, rather than a legal, approach to resolving business disputes. Our own organisation uses exclusively non-lawyer mediators to great effect, so we are watching this with interest. Most business disputes are ultimately settled on the basis of commercial priorities and imperatives, rather than on points of law, and the Dubai Chamber project is a reflection of this.’
October 18th, 2012
A high-profile case in Australia, concerning the alleged sexual harassment of a parliamentary worker by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, has just been through mediation. An offer of $50,000 had already been made and accepted by the claimant, but there were outstanding issues getting in the way of finalising the matter, which a judge directed the two men to try and resolve through mediation.
After a nine-hour mediation in the Federal Court in Sydney, both parties left tight-lipped, without a resolution. The case is now back in court.
September 19th, 2012
The conflict over the Senkaku islands, controlled by Japan but claimed by China, continues to worsen, it was reported in the Guardian today. Amid spreading anti-Japanese protests, the Chinese leader-in-waiting, Xi Jinping has today referred to Japan's purchase of the islands as a 'farce'. Military action is looking increasingly likely as the Chinese Navy sends ships to the waters around the uninhabited islands. With such close economic ties, and with hundreds of Japanese businesses based in China closing their doors, both sides would appear to have a lot to lose if the conflict continues. Are there points to prove on both sides, or is there scope to focus on the future? Given that the conflict is fuelled by historical grievances over alleged Japanese brutality in the 1930s and 1940s, it would seem a classic case of grievances from the past preventing a constructiv resolution in the present.
September 19th, 2012
It was announced today that both the Transport Workers Union and Southwest Airlines have approached mediators to attempt to resolve a dispute over pay and contract terms.
We know that mediation is very effective in such cases, especially where both sides have a firm commitment to reaching a pragmatic and commercially viable resolution. Let's hope they get somewhere with negotiations, but might they have had a better chance had they attempted mediation sooner?
September 19th, 2012
A survey released this week shows that the number of complaints against doctors has risen by 23% compared to last year. Not that doctors' performance can necessarily be blamed: a doctor was ultimately removed from the medical register in only 65 of the 8,781 complaints cases in the current year, a lower number than previously.
What should we read into this? That we the patients are increasing our expectations of our healthcare providers, or are our increasingly put-upon doctors falling down in their interpersonal skills and ability to communicate with us? Mediation is used in some complaints cases, but given these results perhaps we should be considering it more, especially where the initial assessment of a complaint indicates that the issue is not one of medical negligence, but rather a failing in the doctor's bedside manner.
November 3rd, 2011
Is an unresolved dispute getting in the way of your business? Are you facing the expense, delay and distraction of an impending court case?
Mediation may be able to help: it provides a low-cost, fast, and private way to resolve a wide range of disputes within the construction industry. It simply gives you and the other side a chance to work out a commercial settlement that you can both live with, and if mediation does not work, you can still proceed to arbitration or litigation if you need to.
With mediation you can:
- avoid having to have a court hearing
- settle around 80% of disputes in a single day
- keep your dispute completely private
- agree settlement terms that both sides can live with
…and the figures add up:
- mediation is quick to set up and conclude: you can soon get back to running your business
- if you are using a legal advisor, your legal bill will be much lower
- a mediated settlement will often leave you and the other side on good terms: you won’t need to go looking for a new contractor, customer, or supplier
Don’t take our word for it. Come along and hear more about how mediation is catching on fast in the construction industry:
FREE mediation seminar: European Inn, Derby, Nov 25th 2011 , 2.00 – 3.30
You‘ll also get a voucher for 25% off your first mediation case with us.
November 1st, 2011
The CIPD Annual Conference and Exhibition has proven very useful for us over the past few years. It has allowed us to catch up with people that we have previously trained, and see how they are putting their mediation skills to good use. It is also great to see new faces that are enthusiastic about the benefits that mediation can give. If you are at the event, then please feel free to pop over to stand 6010 to chat about mediation.
Alongside some prestigious guest speakers in the HR field, we will be delivering a Skill Shop presentation entitled “How to support people to change their response to conflict.” This will aim to explore people’s responses to conflict, and outline how individuals can tackle disputes in a constructive and informal manner. If you are at the event, this presentation will be held on Tuesday 8th November at 12:45pm, so please do come along.
If you would like to attend the CIPD ACE exhibition, please visit: http://www.cipd.co.uk/cande/annual/exhibition/preregister to register.
October 19th, 2011
Is an unresolved dispute getting in the way of your business? Are you facing the expense, delay and distraction of an impending court case? If this sounds familiar, commercial mediation could hold the key to resolving a variety of business disputes.
Commercial mediation is used for disputes where an amount of money or supply of goods/services is in dispute. Mediation is fast, confidential, without prejudice, inexpensive, and able to generate outcomes that would not usually be achievable by going to court. If you wanted to gather some further information about commercial mediation, why not join us for a FREE online webinar: Mediation in Business – taking the cost out of conflict.
The webinar will cover:
- A definition of commercial mediation
- The types of dispute that typically require commercial mediation
- The benefits and costs that can be saved when using commercial mediation
The webinar will last for 50 minutes, and is followed by 10 minutes for questions at the end.
To book a place on this popular webinar, please contact us.
September 22nd, 2011
Are you a counsellor or psychotherapist who is thinking about training in mediation? If so, we have last minute availability on our forthcoming Accredited Mediation Training for Counsellors and Psychotherapists. This will be running from Monday 3rd – Thursday 6th October at our London branch.
This course is specialised for counsellors and psychotherapists, as we recognise that many of the basic skills required for mediation will already have been learnt by professionals in these fields. Run by our managing director, Mike Talbot, a UKCP-registered gestalt psychotherapist, this course will equip you to competently run mediation sessions, and consider the similarities between mediation and the counselling and psychotherapy professions.
Book now to secure your place on a popular course that will stretch your skill-base and provide you with an extra source of income.