Anyone can litigate, the real worth of a lawyer is to be able use his expertise and experience to identify a problem but also the potential solutions. The ability of a lawyer to effectively represent clients at mediation is a valuable and key skill which every accomplished dispute resolution lawyer requires in their armoury.
Here at Silverman Sherliker we offer an enhanced service over and above that which many other law firms are able to do. There will of course be cases where there will be a need to litigate but in our experience there are very few cases which are not suitable for mediation.
What is Mediation? Mediation is a form of dispute or conflict resolution. It is sometimes referred to as a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution or ADR because it is considered as an alternative to litigation. That is probably an outdated view because litigation is itself a form of dispute resolution and traditionally was the go to method for parties to sort out their differences.
Today more and more people are turning to mediation rather than litigation to resolve their disputes.
Unlike litigation, mediation is consensual. The parties agree to mediate, agree who the mediator should be and when to mediate. It is a “without prejudice” process in which the mediator will assist the parties to consider their interests and through principled negotiation, reach a solution.
At a trial the judge will impose his judgment, one party will win and one will lose. Mediation on the other hand enables the parties to take control of the matter, identify a pragmatic solution at a much earlier stage thus avoiding the very considerable costs of litigating through to the bitter end.
Litigation is uncertain in its outcome (until the day that final judgment is delivered), it is costly and it will require the litigants to spend considerable amounts of time involved in the litigation and is by its nature stressful.
Just the cost of issuing a claim is becoming prohibitive. Court fees have risen exponentially over recent years and are set to continue to rise. Coupled with the legal fees involved in preparing a case so that a claim can be issued, the costs of merely getting a claim underway can be expensive and there is the certainty that costs will only rise as the litigation progresses to trial.
The cost of mediation by comparison is far more modest. Add to this, that mediation assists the parties to find their own solutions, takes away the uncertainty and stress and gives them their time back to get on with their lives and to run their businesses, mediation is a very attractive alternative to litigation.
In addition the courts expect the parties to consider using mediation and an unreasonable refusal to mediate will almost certainly result in a costs penalty at the end of the litigation proceedings.
There will of course be cases where there will need to litigation but there are very few cases in our experience which are not suitable for mediation.
Between them Silverman Sherliker’s Dispute Resolution lawyers have more than 30 years’ experience representing clients at mediations and have a superb reputation as very effective mediation lawyers.
John Abbott, Head of Dispute Resolution, is an accredited mediator and a member of The Council for Civil Mediation. John accepts appointments as a civil commercial mediator, nationally and internationally. Silverman Sherliker is also able to offer workplace and employment mediation though its HR team.