Dispute Resolution: Without prejudice
Despite the best efforts of Lord Woolf and his friends, mediation in the UK is still regarded with some suspicion by commercial litigators. Is this just the shock of the new, or do they have a point? Nicola McCormick and Charles Middleton-Smith report
Imagine the phone call from the client: “I have got your letter and that mediation fact sheet thing. I do not understand. Last week you said we had some good arguments in favour of our case. We have got lots of paperwork that supports us (well, except for the contract itself). Now you want me to rack up more costs sitting in a meeting room all day navel-gazing when I could be getting on with my business? And at the end of that, what do you suggest happens? That I split my differences with that double-crossing company and then everyone I do business with thinks I am a soft touch?!”
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