Civil and Commercial Mediation

An increasing number of claims are being settled through mediation rather than the courts, whether for an individual claiming against a company or another individual, or vice versa, or a company claiming against a partner or contractor or a supplier of goods or services. Some of these are intra-familial business disputes around partnerships or inheritance rights. Court actions may be stayed for mediation to be attempted.

Out of Conflict added this sector of mediation to its portfolio after David undertook accredited training in 2009.

Case History

A student had lodged papers with a County Court against a HE establishment for its alleged racial discrimination in her failing part of the course and having to re-sit. Failure, both to resolve the matter through the internal disputes process and of the student to re-take a placement, had resulted in a year being missed. The student was suing for future loss of income from this delay, injury to feelings by the way the disciplinary and complaints procedure had been managed, and despite the fact the defending examination authority stated that it was failing her (the student) on competency grounds, the student claimed it was racially motivated. The defendant had asked for the court action to be stayed pending mediation and this was agreed.

Mediation helped the parties break the cycle of enmity encouraged by regular frequent emailing, and the adversarial attitudes towards each other and to hear explanations about issues raised. After over six hours of mediating and three caucuses, the participants reached an accommodation. The student received extra support in re-taking her placement without incurring extra costs, and a guarantee of a place on her final year subject to achieving a satisfactory placement outcome. The HE establishment agreed that if the student so wished, she would be given a constructive reference to complete the course elsewhere. The student withdrew her allegation that the action had been racially motivated.