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Lawyers in Mediation

Lawyers in Mediation

When you represent clients in mediation, do you think you are a help or a hindrance to the mediator?

 

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It depends on the mediator’s behaviour. Whether he’s helping me. As an experienced mediator, I like to think that I have a bit of an insight as to what the mediator’s doing, and if I’m uncomfortable with the direction the mediator is pushing the mediation, then he’ll probably find me a hindrance. But if he’s doing the right thing and going the direction I want him to go in, then of course he’ll find me of great assistance, and very easy to deal with.

 

You know, I appoint the mediators into a job, to get me a resolution of my dispute. And I am generally looking for what I call a just resolution. Not just resolution. I want the resolution to reflect the justice of the situation. And therefore I don’t want a mediator who’s just going to try and cut the baby in the middle. I want a mediator who’s going to take account of my good points and my bad points and help the parties take account of both sides’ good and bad points and arrive at a resolution that is not a million miles away from the resolution that would happen if the thing was taken through the normal justice process. And in that, of course there’s give and take. But I do have a view as to how I would like a mediation to be run in advance, normally. And I will normally talk to the mediator beforehand and share that view with them.

 

Every negotiation is different. So there’s no template that applies to every situation. And taking your example of the workman, if the workman is doing such a bad, bodged job, you’re not just going to sit by and let him get on with it and then pay him at the end of the day. You’re going to say to him, ‘Oy, that’s not right. Put it right or there’s the door, close it behind you.’ And I have done that with a mediator before now. I have turned around and said, ‘I’m terribly sorry, not happy with this. We’ll end the mediation now. That’s the door. Bye bye.’ That happened in a situation where actually both parties were dissatisfied with the mediator and asked him to terminate the mediation and negotiated the settlement direct.

About the mediator

Tim Hardy Profile Pic

Tim Hardy has been mediating for over ten years, working with parties to resolve disputes across a broad spectrum of commercial sectors. He has been recognised as a key individual by Chambers & Partners Guide to the Legal Profession for his work in dispute resolution as a litigator. Tim is head of the Commercial Litigation team at CMS Cameron McKenna LLP and has over 30-years’ experience of dispute resolution across a range of issues inc... View Mediator