Mediating in small claims - Say yes!

This week saw another of my clients reach a satisfactory outcome at mediation. A claim had been brought against them by a disgruntled customer who, it has to be said was rather over egging his pudding.  The amount agreed was less than half of what the customer was trying to claim. By securing the agreement, it meant my client did not have to spend any more time and energy preparing for and attending a hearing thus leaving him with plenty of time to get on with what he does best, selling cars.

The mediation service is offered to all those who either bring a small claim or who have received a claim against them. The point at which you are offered the option of attending mediation is when you have been sent the Directions Questionnaire on which the first question is, “Do you agree to this case being referred to mediation?”

I always recommend ticking yes. Not only does mediation have the obvious benefits of potentially saving time, money and energy but ticking ‘no’ could lead to the court not looking too kindly upon you at any subsequent hearing. Basically, courts like you to talk it out and only use a judge’s face to face time as a last resort.

The mediation itself is usually conducted over the phone and for small claims, that is those under £10,000 in value, it’s free.  

It’s not just my clients who have had success with mediation. According to a speech by Lord Faulk QC last year, 10,000 small claims are referred to mediation each year and of those, 64% reach a settlement and overall, 95% of users would use the service again.
 

Authors: Nona Bowkis

Published: 19 Jan 2015

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