While there are disputes that are resolved by the Courts, most contentions can be resolved by agreement at some point before trial.Contact
The format of settlement discussions is very flexible and can be adapted to the needs of the parties or the type of dispute. These can range from informal discussions between the parties’ lawyers, to a more structured exchange of information about the dispute.
One of the more formal methods of settlement discussion is mediation. This is a process where the parties agree to appoint an independent third party – the mediator – to facilitate settlement discussions. The mediator is usually a lawyer but does not have to be – in many cases it is more useful for an industry expert to act as mediator.
A typical mediation will involve each party briefly setting out their case in writing in advance of a meeting between the parties and the mediator. The mediator, who has no power to decide the case or impose terms on the parties, assists them in identifying possible solutions to the dispute.
Mediation can take place at any point in the lifecycle of a dispute, from before proceedings have been issued to mid-trial. Our experience confirms that they are most effective once the issues have been properly identified.
The process is confidential and any offers made, or information exchanged during the course of the mediation will not be revealed to the Judge dealing with the dispute if a settlement is not agreed.
We have extensive experience of negotiating settlements, often without proceedings ever being started. Clients value our energy, innovative approaches and creativity in seeking to achieve a beneficial resolution quickly and cost effectively.
All our lawyers in the Commercial Litigation, Civil Fraud and Asset Tracing & Recovery teams have experience of representing clients at mediations and advising more generally on the most efficient way of resolving disputes.
We work with clients to develop a strategy to present their case at mediation in an effective way and to maximise the prospects of an advantageous settlement. We advise on possible settlement terms weighed against the advantages and disadvantages of proceeding with litigation.
We have good connections with the leading mediators in the commercial field to ensure the right person is appointed for each dispute. If a reasonable commercial settlement is not possible, we are able to take swift and robust action to continue with litigation.