According To The Biennial Audit, Mediation Is A Reliable Component Of Dispute Resolution, The tenth time that CEDR and the Civil Mediation Council of England & Wales have collaborated to publish its biennial audit of the Commercial Mediation market will be in 2023.
According To The Biennial Audit
The tenth time that CEDR and the Civil Mediation Council of England & Wales have collaborated to publish its biennial audit of the Commercial Mediation market will be in 2023. For more than two decades, CEDR has followed the growth of commercial mediation in the UK and identified key trends, obstacles, and potential solutions.
Mediation Grows Despite The Covid-Induced Slump
Following a 35% drop in market activity during the COVID period, case numbers rebounded to reach 17,000 by September 30, 2022—a 3% increase from the level before the pandemic. Even though this is a modest increase, it is a significant recovery from the pandemic’s increased activity.
Online Mediation Is Here To Stay
Sixty-four percent of the 17,000 cases involved online mediation. Since necessity is the source of invention, online mediation has grown significantly since March 2020. Many people wondered whether it would be a passing fad or an integral part of the landscape moving forward when it emerged from the fringe. However, as the report’s author Graham Massie points out, “it would appear the nature of the field has permanently changed” despite the fact that the proportion of people using the internet has decreased from its peak of 89% during the pandemic.
Anecdotally, the research also reveals that mediators are increasingly turning to online forums for assistance with pre-mediation contact and follow-up, which were previously done over the phone.
Mediation Settlement Rates Remain Steadfastly Strong
Mediation’s settlement rate has always been impressive, both on the day of the engagement and in the days and weeks that followed. The results of this audit reaffirm this. It claims a success rate of 92 percent overall, with an on-the-day settlement rate of 73 percent and subsequent immediate settlement rates of 20 percent.
Capacity In The Mediation Market For Automatic Referrals To Mediation By The Courts
Capacity in the market for mediation for courts to automatically refer people to mediation The Ministry of Justice intends to make mandatory mediation a requirement for all contested claims in the County Courts that are under £10,000, and it is also considering doing the same for claims that are between £10,000 and £25,000. Therefore, the purpose of our audit was to determine whether, in the event of an increase in demand at these slightly higher levels, the market would have enough capacity to handle the additional work.
According to the Audit, the Civil Mediation Council’s combined Registered Mediator membership has 54,000 days of surplus capacity. As a result, it is safe to say that the UK mediation industry would easily accommodate a significant increase in mediation activity following mandatory mediation.
Litigants In Person (Lips) And Mediation
The discussion of Automatic Referral to Mediation, particularly with regard to claims up to £25,000 in which a significant portion of the claims will involve unrepresented parties, raises questions about the mediators’ experience and effectiveness in mediation as well as potential obstacles for them.
According to the Audit, mediators frequently reported issues with LIPs’ understanding of the legal and commercial aspects of their case as well as their capacity to properly represent themselves, particularly in small claims of less than £10,000. As a result, the mediator was frequently requested for assistance, such as advice on the merits of their case. However, mediators reported that they were able to deal with this misunderstanding of their role, and overall, the frequency of problems or settlement delays in cases involving LIPs was lower than the frequency of issues (though still high, with approximately 50% of cases involving LIPs being affected).
Importantly, mediators pointed out that there is nothing inherently wrong with LIPs in mediation and that a well-prepared and sane person can generally be more helpful in achieving a settlement than a dogmatic lawyer. However, our findings are consistent with a previous finding regarding the HMCTS Small Claims Mediation Service, which attributed the relatively low levels of take-up (15-21%) and case settlement (55%) to the fact that many court users are unaware of the mediation process’s advantages.
As a result, in order for unrepresented individuals to get the most out of the process, the field may need to be careful to provide them with the necessary direction and assistance moving forward.
The Contribution Of Commercial Mediation To The Economy
There are figures on the contribution that mediation makes to British business life in every Audit.
• Roughly £20 billion worth of cases are mediated each year
• Since 1990, around £195 billion worth of cases have gone to mediation
• Mediation save business around £5.9 billion per year in wasted management time, legal fees, lost productivity and damaged relationships
According to audit author Graham Massie, mediation has reached its desired location within the mainstream of the legal system, but it is far from finished. This Audit suggests that our profession is well-positioned to meet the need for mandatory mediation, which appears to be the next challenge.
With approximately 247,000* contested civil law cases in England and Wales each year, the need (and opportunity) is still vast, but our historic growth to a total of approximately 17,000 mediations per year is certainly an impressive achievement in terms of the opportunity that remains. Therefore, we are still developing new methods and implementing mediation in new settings, but the journey has not ended.
The CEDR Audit
Along with a survey of lawyers who use mediation, the CEDR Audit, which began in 2003 and occurs approximately every two years, provides a useful client perspective. Through collaboration with the Civil Mediation Council of England & Wales, the Audit’s key findings are possible.
Its significance extends far beyond the United Kingdom and serves as a model and driving force for the growth of mediation worldwide.
This iteration was written by CEDR Director Graham Massie and is based on the detailed responses of 328 commercial mediators and other sources.
CEDR is Europe’s largest independent alternative dispute resolution center, handling thousands of referrals annually for commercial and consumer disputes. CEDR is certified by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute for Consumer Alternative Dispute Resolution and manages the Court of Appeal’s Mediation Service.
Over 7,000 mediators from 70 nations have received CEDR’s acclaimed Mediator Skills Training Accreditation, making it a global leader in negotiation and conflict management training. Unique foundation initiatives like the national negotiation competition and the skills for life initiative for young people are carried out by CEDR, a non-profit organization with the public mission to innovate and develop conflict management and dispute resolution.
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