Focus Mediation: Solving disputes – commercial, civil, business, probate and all other types of mediation.

A business-like way out of deadlock.

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Contact us at any time using our online form, or call us for a 15 minute discussion about your situation on 01908 231132.

100% free. 100% confidential. Guaranteed.

Why use commercial mediation?

You’re in a legal dispute that’s heading for the Courts.

Your lawyers are fighting your corner, but an outcome still seems far off.

The costs are mounting.

You are uncertain about the outcome. It feels like a gamble – and you want to get on with your business and your life.

Whatever your dispute, you can solve it faster and more cost effectively through mediation than through litigation. Most people have a shared interest in a speedy, affordable resolution. Court proceedings frequently take over a year and it can feel as if options and money are running out of your control. Often legal costs exceed the value of the dispute.

 

Risk, cost and delay are inevitable if you choose litigation 

Court proceedings distract you from your core business – and you may have to stand up to hostile cross-examination in Court. There can be reputational damage.

The Courts strongly encourage mediation and may refuse to award costs to a winning party at trial, if they have refused to mediate. 

If you suggest mediation, it does not imply weakness.   The Courts are increasingly imposing costs sanctions on parties who refused to mediate.

Mediation is confidential, cost-effective and quick. Above all, it has a high success rate in producing a binding settlement, usually after a session of one day or less.

There is no commitment to any proposals, unless a binding settlement is agreed. Even if no settlement results proposals discussed in the mediation cannot be disclosed to the Court.

Focus mediators are highly-qualified and experienced civil and commercial mediators, accredited by leading national bodies. We’re at the forefront of developments in meeting the needs of businesses and individuals for swift, economical disposal of troublesome disputes. 

We provide a neutral mediator or mediators – you can keep your own legal team throughout the process, though they do not have to attend the mediation. Our mediator explores the case with each side in confidence so is uniquely placed to help identify and develop fruitful routes to settlement. ,  Depending on the number of people and complexity of the case we may deploy more than one mediator. 

Contact us

Contact us at any time using our online form to learn how Focus Mediation can help resolve your dispute.

100% free. 100% confidential. Guaranteed.

How commercial mediation works

Your mediator will come from the background most relevant to your dispute, so you can feel confident in their expertise. The costs of mediation will generally reflect the amount at issue in your dispute.

 

A mediator’s key skills are conflict analysis, management and resolution.  These are more important than detailed knowledge of the relevant law.  However, where an understanding of a particular area of law would be helpful, Focus Mediation can usually field a mediator with relevant experience.

Before your mediation starts, the mediator will have prepared by reading any relevant paperwork you have provided.

You will be in separate rooms from the other party and the mediator goes between you – this is called shuttling or caucusing.

There will usually be an open session all together at the beginning, where you each state your case – or your lawyer or helper does that for you, but this is not compulsory.

The mediator holds confidences between you, only relaying offers and positions that you authorise. It puts the mediator in the best position possible to get you to settlement – and the focus is on settlement, not grandstanding.

You can bring your lawyer/s with you or not as you prefer and sometimes people bring friends or someone for moral support.

Often your lawyers are available to help you on the phone and sometimes they come over towards the end of the mediation, if you ask them to do so.

The important thing is for the person with authority to settle to be at the mediation or available to authorise the settlement, as the objective is for there to be a binding agreement on the day.

It is important for you to have obtained all the information and documents you feel are essential to settlement and to have had the advice you want before you come, or be able to access advice on the phone.

Contact us

Contact us at any time using our online form to learn how Focus Mediation can help resolve your dispute.

100% free. 100% confidential. Guaranteed.

Business disputes

Everything you need to know to resolve your issues through mediation

Disputes can paralyse a department or even the whole company, diverting decision-makers from the key tasks of doing deals and running the business. The cost in money and reputation can be incalculable. A Focus Mediator can help restore equilibrium swiftly, confidentially and with the minimum of expense and disruption. The key aim is to end the haemorrhaging of time and money as quickly as possible.

Focus gets results

Mediation usually only takes a single day, and can be set up at short notice. Where relationships have broken down and negotiations failed, a neutral mediator operating in a private, “without prejudice” environment aims to broker a deal that all parties agree is better for them than the fight. Focus mediators achieve that in over 90% of civil cases, with parties signing binding settlement terms there and then. The process even brings many of the rest close enough that they settle soon after.

Business disputes and litigation

Disputes often grow in complexity as the lawyers jockey for position and extra parties (such as insurers) may become involved. The legal costs often become  the biggest issue! mediators start where you are. Only a mediator can discuss each party’s hopes, fears and objectives with them in confidence. It’s one of the main reasons mediation gets results.

Problems, problems

Traditional methods of resolving disputes drive parties further apart long before any resolution is possible. If you’ve been through the stage of snarling at each other, and that didn’t bring the opposition to heel, where should you go next? ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) including mediation is now expected. Failure to mediate can have adverse costs consequences, even for parties who go on to win their case. Proposing mediation, far from being a sign of weakness, can put your opponent on the back foot.

Usually your mediation can be held within one week of you contacting us.

Contact us

Contact us at any time using our online form to learn how Focus Mediation can help resolve your dispute.

100% free. 100% confidential. Guaranteed.

Workplace and HR

Focus Mediation ensures a swift resolution to your dispute

 

Resolve your workplace disputes

Most organisations experience workplace conflict.

While constructive conflict can drive innovation and healthy competition, destructive conflict has the opposite effect, creating a stressful working environment and endless loss of time.

Conflict can adversely affect staff throughout the organisation, reducing production, hindering recruitment and damaging staff retention

Focus Mediation delivers experienced and effective professional mediation and/or investigation & enquiry and facilitation services and a combination of these to meet your need.

You can reduce costs, stress and avoid lengthy and expensive tribunals or court battles – which should be a last resort. Mediation is the sane affordable way out of a workplace disaster.

What is workplace mediation?

Workplace mediation is vital where there you want an on-going employment and or business relationship. Litigation would destroy any such relationship, as it turns people who disagree to opponents in an adversarial fight.

Use workplace mediation to resolve all types of disputes in the workplace. For example:

  • Personality clashes and relationship breakdown
  • Staff and management conflict
  • Discrimination, harassment and bullying complaints
  • Contract and termination disputes
  • Deteriorating performance
  • Multi-faceted conflict between several people or teams

Mediation is a confidential, informal and voluntary process. An impartial mediator facilitates communication between disputants helping them to reach a mutually acceptable agreement for their future working relationship.

Investigation and enquiry

Investigation

If you have situations in the workplace which are leading to grievances, disciplinary and harassment claims, especially involving multiple parties, then using a neutral fact finder/investigator is the best way to understand the root cause of the issues and reach resolution more quickly and amicably.

When these types of disputes are managed internally, those involved can be perceived as taking sides. This impacts negatively on relationships and trust, hindering a speedy resolution and can lead to valuable skilled members of staff leaving the organisation.

Enquiry

Enquiry builds on Investigation using established resolution skills. It gives employers information to help them review policy, make decisions for a way forward and take formal action if necessary.

Following investigation and enquiry, and if appropriate, mediation may be recommended between two or more parties. Alternatively a recommended programme of facilitation can be carried out using your own internal resources or outsourced to Focus or relevant service.

Why use Focus Mediation for your dispute?

  • Competitive fees with no hidden costs
  • Civil Mediation Council accredited
  • Experienced team of workplace and employment mediators so you get the right skill set for your dispute.
  • Professional and impartial mediation partner
  • Saves you direct and indirect costs, time and stress.

Multi-party disputes in the workplace – mediation is a sane way to resolution

Multi-party conflict deserves a special mention – it can paralyse an organisation and lead to claims of harassment or bullying for which an employer can be found responsible.

This in turn can result in liability for damages to the victim and offender – an impossible bind.

Add in the crowd effect and you can imagine how beleaguered the business owner feels and how hopeless the staff may feel?

Focus Mediation has experience of such disputes – the largest involved over 40 people. It took 2 mediators many days’ work, over an extended period, using a combination of investigation, inquiry, mediation and coaching. This is what happened:

  • Firstly, everyone was talked to confidentially to get to the bottom of the problems and establish the catalysts
  • A plan of action was recommended and agreed with the employer
  • This plan was presented to the staff who bought into it
  • Steps were taken to change the way staff operated and related with each other
  • Training and coaching was delivered to achieve this
  • A very small number of key conflict driving people chose to leave rather than change
  • One year down the line everyone was working together harmoniously and effectively
  • There is no way this could have been achieved via lawyers
  • Mediation, investigation, inquiry, facilitation – and some training, were all needed

Employment mediation

What is employment mediation?

Employment mediation is used to terminate employment or when it is over, but there are still issues to be resolved.

An independent mediator uses their professional skills to assist parties reach a mutually acceptable agreement and/or settlement to facilitate the parting of the ways.

Employment mediation costs a fraction of the cost of litigation and the parties know what they’re agreeing to, removing the gamble of ‘winner gets everything’ as well as the attendant costs and delays.

Frequently the biggest issue in litigation is the costs of it – overshadowing the original dispute.

Contact us

Contact us at any time using our online form to learn how Focus Mediation can help resolve your dispute.

100% free. 100% confidential. Guaranteed.

Property and land disputes

How mediation can help

 

Property and land are often very valuable assets and litigation in this regard can be fierce and ferociously expensive.

Frequently disputes involve more than two parties and, of course, the more people involved, the more points of view, which means more lawyers and more work to be done – and more costly and more complex.

Before you know where you are, experts of various kinds are giving conflicting opinions and the litigation feels like an unstoppable runaway train. Well, it can be stopped – by mediation.

Land litigation

Disputes can be about anything, from the interpretation of a contract for the sale of land, the terms of a lease, mortgages or enfranchisement (that is when a residential lease is extended under the Law).

People and businesses fall out over ownership, mortgages, leases, tenancies, damage, noise, encroachment, boundaries, restrictive covenants – basically anything can be disputed and then it has to be sorted out.

Any such disputes must be disclosed to any prospective purchaser – so a sale without resolving the problem is rarely an option. Disputes that are unresolved can make land unsaleable. Once people take up positions, they often fail to see the wood from the trees. They think of the conflict in terms of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ and the legal narrative relevant to their ‘case’.

Mediators understand this – but they also know that very often the presenting disagreement is complicated by the relationships between disputants, their beliefs and feelings and the sub text, as opposed to the overt legal narrative the lawyers are debating.

Mediators work to resolve the complex dispute drivers that the parties themselves often don’t understand.

Mediation helps people come up with attractive options completely off the court menu of options (which are limited to say the least).

A real example

A Focus mediator mediated a dispute between two flat owners about noise.

The legal and experts’ costs just before trial were £62,000, the forecast costs of trial £32,000.

The agreed cost of installing the noise insulation between the two flats was £2,800.

This case was mediated in a day with one flat owner buying the other out – not even an outcome the court could have imposed!

Get the point? 

Contact us

Contact us at any time using our online form to learn how Focus Mediation can help resolve your dispute.

100% free. 100% confidential. Guaranteed.

Probate, wills and power of attorney

How mediation can help

 

Disputes in bereaved families are tragically common, as are disagreements over Powers of Attorney.

People destabilised by grief often argue with one another.

Old tensions erupt into new rows and this often ends in solicitors’ letters and the courts.  An unhelpful escalation that further damages fragile relationships.

It is often about everything but legal principles; it is about peoples, grief, beliefs and fears.

A Focus mediator can calm things down, and help everyone come to terms with the situation and reach agreement.

Conflict drivers

The Law deals with the application of legal principles to the facts, as decided by judges after the presentation of evidence. It starts where you are and drives you further apart with a process of positional bargaining and ritualised argument via lawyers and the courts. It makes matters worse.

The causes of the conflict are usually people’s feelings and beliefs – the emotional and psychological dispute drivers that have caused the row in the first place.

Only mediation brings the right tools to bear on these problems. Mediation starts where you are and works to bring about a resolution fast.

Mediation

A Focus mediator can mediate family litigation or disputes. It might be about the terms of a Will, or who is to control the property and affairs of an elderly relative who has lost capacity to mange their own affairs. It can be about anything, between anyone, friends and relatives, children or grandchildren.

Your mediator will work to understand the real root causes of the problems and to help resolve them by agreement. All too often people have spent as much or more than they are arguing over going to Law without resolving anything or making anyone feel better.

What good can come from family members litigating?

Sooner or later most cases settle, few go to trial.

The allure of winning is an expensive illusion, a gamble.

Even if you ‘win’, the costs are usually such that it is a hollow victory.

 

Contact us

Contact us at any time using our online form to learn how Focus Mediation can help resolve your dispute.

100% free. 100% confidential. Guaranteed.

Costs

Mediation offers very significant savings compared to court proceedings

 

We believe you will find our costs excellent value compared to court proceedings – often costing a fraction of a trial.

Focus Mediation is based in Milton Keynes, but our civil mediators cover a huge area and can mediate in most areas of Southern England and some places in the North.

In all cases, costs quoted are per party. Multi party cases may need two mediators.

Venue costs (ie. the cost of hiring rooms in which to meet), if any, and travel costs are added, together with any other agreed costs and split equally between the parties.

VAT is added to all our charges. In some small cases it is possible telephone mediation may take place, if so the parties share the cost of this.

Focus Mediation does not offer mediation for claims under £5,000

Claims between £5,000 and £50,000
We can usually offer a competitive mediation rate for the day or half day – ask us and we will talk to you.

Claims between £50,000 and £100,000
£1,200 + VAT per party for an 8 hour day and up to 3 hours pre mediation reading and £200 + VAT per party per extra hour.

Claims between £100,000 and £250,000
£1,500 + VAT per party for an 8 hour day and up to 3 hours pre mediation reading and £200 + VAT per party per extra hour.

Claims over £250,000 or complex multi-party claims
Price on application – costs vary to reflect a need for more than one mediator, several days’ mediation or other case specific variations.

Contact us

Contact us at any time using our online form to learn how Focus Mediation can help resolve your dispute.

100% free. 100% confidential. Guaranteed.

FAQ

Everything we get asked

 

What is mediation?

Mediation is a confidential process whereby an impartial third party (the mediator) facilitates the resolution of your dispute. It is a voluntary process – everyone involved has to be willing to come to mediation to resolve the problem.

Can mediation help me?

Any dispute can be mediated, providing all parties agree to participate. Business to business, boundary issues, workplace, employment, personal, family, probate – whatever your dispute, mediation is quicker and less expensive than litigation.

How does mediation work?

Mediation is tailored to the dispute.  So the mediator will speak to you and the other party to confirm willingness to mediate, explain the process and costs and to find out the background of the dispute.

Once a mutually convenient date, time and venue is agreed, written confirmation is sent together with an Agreement to Mediate and an invoice – payment is due in full in advance of the mediation date. Costs are divided equally between the parties in dispute unless otherwise agreed.

You will be invited to submit a summary/position statement together with any relevant paperwork for the mediator to read before the mediation, but is not compulsory.

There are different ways of mediating. Some people do not wish to meet at all and some wish to have face to face discussions. Often you may spend some of the time in separate rooms and some of the time together in the same room. In any case, most, if not all, of the mediation usually takes place with the parties in separate rooms with the mediator going between them.

At the end of the mediation the parties agree with the mediator what the summary of the outcome will be and with whom it will be shared. All parties will sign it and if required legal advisers will take the necessary steps to terminate any litigation that may already be underway.

What if no agreement is reached?

Most mediations are successful. However, if no agreement is reached, nothing is written down and you will have to consider whether to proceed with more formal action.

As mediation is confidential and ‘without prejudice’. This means that nothing that has been discussed in the mediation can be used subsequently by your lawyers without the agreement of both parties and the mediator cannot be called as a witness to give evidence in court.

How long will the mediation take?

Most mediations are settled within one working day – sometimes in just a few hours.

What does mediation cost?

Mediation fees are normally based on the value of the claim. See our costs schedule. Any costs incurred in hiring a venue and providing refreshments and/or lunch will be shared equally between the parties.

Contact us

Contact us at any time using our online form to learn how Focus Mediation can help resolve your dispute.

100% free. 100% confidential. Guaranteed.