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Of course Court system takes no account of value of your time as a litigant. If you are a senior manager involved for say 1,000 hours over a period of three years, your lost time may have been worth £50,000 - £100,000.
Stress free - Litigation is undoubtedly very stressful. Everyone finds a Court appearance stressful. It is not only day in Court itself but weeks of anticipation and worry beforehand. Mediation, by contrast, should be sufficiently formal to enable a constructive and satisfactory conclusion but, at same time, sufficiently informal to promote a friendly environment where parties can discuss their differences openly.
Confidentiality - only parties and mediator ever know what is happening, so mediation carries far less risk of damaging publicity. Your business can protect its reputation, its brand, and its technical secrets. On other hand what is said in court is on public record.
The combination of confidentiality and speed in a mediation enables you to keep secret very fact of a dispute. Once you have issued a writ (or had one issued against you) then your auditors, shareholders, and financial commentators will be on top of you for an explanation. Your accounts could be blighted for years. If you are a public company, your share price will be affected. In contrast, a mediation can be over in weeks. Only you even know you ever had a problem - and even you have half forgotten detail because it never interrupted your main purpose. The uncertainty represented by litigation simply does not exist.
Flexibility - Government lays down fixed court procedures. Because mediation is informal, more imaginative solutions can be considered. You can consider a settlement that might involve all sorts of solutions other than payment or receipt of money. It might be important to you or your dispute party to deal with timing, quality, future trading, certification - aspects where a court has no jurisdiction to help you.
So that is what it is all about!
For Andrew Taylor's free e-book "Mediation Wins the Gold", click on http://www.TheMediator.co.uk Contact: Andrew Taylor on 44 (0)1246 563618 andrew@TheMediator.co.uk