Our commitment to our clients is to keep the mediation process progressing at a pace that is comfortable to all participants whilst also ensuring that everyone’s time is valued. On rare occasions, if it becomes apparent that mediation is no longer appropriate or if the mediator feels that insufficient progress is being made to justify mediation continuing, the mediator will raise this issue with all the participants without delay. For the vast majority of cases, it can be expected that there will be successful outcomes from the mediation process and the ways that these outcomes are normally recorded are as follows:
- For all cases, subject to both parties agreeing to pay for this drafting work, a Memorandum of Understanding will be prepared to record the mediator’s summary of the outcomes of the mediation including any proposals made and agreed upon by the participants in the process.
- For all financial cases where there has been disclosure of financial documentation, a Financial Summary will be produced, subject to both parties agreeing to pay for this work to be undertaken. The Summary will summarise all of the financial information provided by the participants and this should then be read in conjunction with the Memorandum of Understanding.
Once the necessary documents have been produced, it is suggested that the participants consider seeking independent legal advice about the proposals that have been made during the mediation process with a view to requesting that, where relevant, legally binding agreements be drafted by the legal advisers at that stage. It is important to understand that mediation is not a substitute for legal advice, although detailed legal information can be provided by the mediator and every effort will be made to ensure that the mediation documents are produced in such a way that the legal advisers can draft any necessary agreements with the minimum time and expense. Depending upon the nature of the issues being mediated upon, the participants may feel that it is not necessary or appropriate to seek the advice of legal advisers, thus reducing the need for additional expense, and a lot more information can be provided by the mediator about the use of legal advice during the mediation process.