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Mediation Fees in the UK

Mediation Fees in the UK

Why are UK customers more concerned with mediator fees than in the United States?



Full Transcript

I think the market ebbs and flows a little bit. I think even the very successful mediators go through patches where they wonder quite where the next case is coming from. I think it’s not a mature market here. It remains quite brittle. There is always a temptation that most people give into understandably, they are all self employed, to start slashing their fees at the first signs of this. But you know I would encourage them to resist doing that and try to look, to build a solid marketplace.


I don’t know if I’ve got any clever answers as to why this is. Clearly, the market is saturated with qualified mediators. They will always be someone out there who will do it, do mediation, for cheaper. There will be someone out there who will do it for nothing just for the experience in pretty much every case, at every level. I think they should really resist trying to do that. You know part of the problem with mediation is that it is a confidential process. It goes on behind closed doors and unlike a barrister who you might be able to go and see perform in court, you can’t see what a mediator is doing, even if you’re in a mediation with them. You can’t know what they are doing in the other room. So it’s very difficult to establish a reputation based on merit.


In fact, even the scale based of a facilitative mediator is very difficult to assess and to put a value to. You know how do you value skills like bringing people together, or generating consensus. All of these kinds of things are so ephemeral that I think when compared to the very hard legal skills which you can demonstrate in the law, which is a parallel career I think, it makes it that much harder to put an hourly rate on.

About the mediator

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Matthew Rushton began a career as a legal journalist in 1997 writing for The Legal 500 in the UK, continental Europe, and Asia Pacific regions. He subsequently wrote for a wide range of legal periodicals in the UK and US, including Legal Business magazine where he was a senior reporter and litigation editor (2000-2003). As a business journalist he is widely published in magazines and newspapers, including nationals like The Daily Telegraph. He is... View Mediator