1. Mediation is effective
Mediation is a proven and highly effective tool for resolving issues of all kinds, including contractual disputes, breakdowns in trading or working relationships. There are quite enough problems to navigate with the Covid-19 pandemic without adding ongoing or impending disputes to the equation.
2. Delay is not good
Delaying the resolution of an issue until after the lockdown is not an attractive option. It may be too late for all sorts of practical reasons to wait until the courts and tribunals are back up and running effectively – and anyway, who knows when that will be? Even when the courts and tribunals are back in business, there is going to be a big backlog of cases to be worked through. There is also a risk that the other party to the dispute might have gone out of business before you can deal with the issue by litigation.
3. Quick and easy to arrange
Mediation is quick and easy to set up. Mediations, especially remote mediations, can be set up in a matter of hours and concluded the same day or within a few days. It’s also a fact that there may never be a better time to secure the availability of the mediators and the participants. Almost everyone has much easier diaries at the moment, with fewer commitments and obstacles to finding a date and time convenient for all.
4. Easy to access
Remote mediation is easy to access if you have a reliable internet connection. The participants can do it from home or some other convenient location. Although not recommended, you could even join the zoom mediation from your phone while you are out walking the dog!
5. Remote mediation works well
Remote mediation is much more effective than people imagine. Platforms such as Zoom allow for the creation of virtual breakout rooms controlled by the mediators which allow separate meetings to take place, for instance between the lawyers and also allow for the mediators to meet separately with the parties in a confidential setting. It is also easy to share and work on documents collaboratively and there is a separate chat function which allows for messages to everyone or to individual participants.
Participants may not lose a whole working day to a mediation. They may be able to work on other things before and after the mediation, because they can still be at their desks. In commercial mediations, in particular, there may also be an opportunity to get other work done during the mediation, if a mediator is spending time with other participants.
Remote mediation is also fantastically cheap to set up in that there are no travel or venue costs. Mediation is also much cheaper and quicker than litigation.