What is mediation?

Simply its a way of resolving disputes without the need to go to court. If both parties in a dispute agree then a trained mediator, who is an impartial third party, guides the parties to a settlement on which they both agree. The mediator does not impose a decision or attempt to judge the merits of the case. Mediation looks at the common ground, the positive aspects and finds the best resolution for both parties.

How does it work?

At an agreed time and venue the mediator listens, allows the parties to express their feelings, explores underlying issues, challenging and encouraging where necessary. The mediator spends time with each party, both in joint session and in private meetings helping each party to focus on their interests, and the interests of the other parties, rather than their rights. The mediator will explore the early part of the relationship, drawing out what it was that caused them to work together initially, and what caused the breakdown in trust or confidence between the parties. The mediator will help the parties to examine areas of possible agreement as well as disagreement. The mediator will also help each party to examine their own resolve, testing out their belief in the true strength of their own case and their resolve to fight rather than settle. Some of this process can be difficult if not painful for some parties: for this reason, the mediator will never test parties or try to expose weaknesses in a case in joint session, only ever in private.

All the discussions are completely confidential – the mediator will not repeat or imply to another party anything that one party has said unless or until the mediator has been given express permission to do so. This confidentiality allows the parties to trust the mediator so they can discuss openly all aspects of their case. Eventually, by spending time “shuttling” between the parties, the mediator can help the parties to understand their own and each other’s positions in a way quite different to that of the traditional adversarial case and, hopefully, reach an agreement.

If no agreement is reached the parties are not in any way bound by what has been discussed. The agreement becomes binding once it has been drawn up and signed by the parties: if the agreement is not honoured it may be enforced contractually or preferably by a further mediation.

Conference & Mediation

Chambers offers two dedicated conference rooms that can be used for mediations, accommodating up to 12 people.

All conference rooms offer permanent wireless internet access and telephone conferencing facilities for multiple participants.

If it is more convenient for the lay or professional client then members are happy to attend conferences at the solicitor’s offices or elsewhere.


When can you use mediation?
Anytime, including before or during court or arbitration proceedings.

Does Mediation replace the need for Lawyers?
Absolutely not; the Mediator is there only to assist parties to reach their own settlement. Provided parties both agree your Lawyers can be involved in the mediation process.

Is the settlement legally binding?
This is dependent on the agreement reached and can be made legally binding if the parties put that agreement in writing.

How long does mediation take?
It depends on the complexity of the dispute but many mediations take as little as half a day.

What are the costs?
Significantly less than the court alternative because trial fees are avoided and mediation settlements can be made appreciably earlier. The costs of the mediation itself are usually spilt between the disputants.

Please continue to read our section regarding our charge rates.

What if agreement is not reached?
The mediation process is designed to be totally confidential so that the content is without prejuidice in any litigation if the mediation fails.

My partner is unwilling to seek Mediation. What can I do?

You can’t enforce mediation on an unwilling party. Mediation has to be entered into by both parties on a voluntary basis. If they remain unwilling to participate then your only option is to pursue matters through your legal representative.


Indicative fees for Mediations are detailed below.

Half day £500-£750+ VAT per party

Full day £750-£1500 + VAT per party

Additional hours £150 – £200 + VAT

These fees include up to 2 hours preparation and travel time. Additional travel costs are charged at the standard rate.

St Albans Chamber’s objective is to provide the most appropriate Mediator at a cost effective fee.

For mediations that are of a complex nature requiring extra preparation time or include more than 2 disputants please contact Alex Carter-Gaunt to discuss fees on 01727 843383 or

Practising Barristers

Need help finding the perfect Barrister?

Contact us today to find the most suitable barrister for your case.

Associate Mediators

St Albans Chambers has a panel of Associate accredited Mediators who have extensive backgrounds in law and commerce before practising in Mediation. Using their training and skills which have been developed throughout their careers, enables them to work with parties to identify workable solutions in a non confrontational environment.

Anthony Nixon

Anthony was called to the Bar in 1979. After five years as an in-house lawyer in shipping, he joined the legal department of Amersham International plc at the dawn of the life-sciences industry. Later, he was Company Secretary and in-house Counsel with the Cambridge Antibody Technology group which, as part of senior management, he took from start-up to a full listing on the London Stock Exchange. In 1991, he co-founded The Warwick Partnership Limited, which provides a full range of in-house legal services to corporate clients.

Anthony is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and won the first Cedric Barclay prize for the Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration. He has been a CEDR accredited mediator since 1993 and is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Arbitrators.

Anthony’s principal areas of expertise in dispute resolution include:

commercial contracts
intellectual property
board and shareholder issues
senior executive service agreements
investor relations
Anthony speaks fluent French and has a good knowledge of a number of other European languages.

Sheila Nixon

Sheila was called to the Bar in 1979. After completing her professional training in chambers in London she continued her career as an in-house lawyer. Her early career was spent with the Lloyd’s insurance market, where she successfully mediated a number of disputes between underwriting and broking members of the market at a time when the business reputation of Lloyd’s was under intense scrutiny

Sheila moved on to a well-known mutual insurance company in the City of London, and then spent a number of years in international compensation and benefits consultancy, advising on share-based incentive schemes for board members as well as on all-employee share schemes.

Since 1996, Sheila has been a director of The Warwick Partnership Limited. In this capacity, as in-house commercial and corporate legal adviser, she has worked with the corporate secretariats and senior management of large listed companies in a wide range of industries, including FMCG, manufacturing, utilities and the high technology sector. She is known for her discretion and tact in handling matters which are commercially sensitive and confidential.

Sheila completed her training as a CEDR Accredited Mediator in 1995. She is a member of the Institute of Directors and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She speaks plain English and fluent French.

Michael Bartlet

Michael is a CEDR qualified commercial mediator and senior teaching fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies in Alternative Dispute Resolution. He brings a wealth of experience in finding win-win solutions to conflict and a determination to optimise outcomes to intractable disputes.

For seventeen years he worked in public affairs, representing Quakers in their work with Parliament and Government. During the setting up of the Commission on Equality and Human Rights he was seconded to advise on the incorporation of religion and belief discrimination into their cross-strand work on equality. He has taught and lectured in schools, colleges and adult education in Britain and for the British Council in Ecuador.

Michael is an experienced community mediator and a member of the board of Mediation Hertfordshire. He is also a member of the Civil Mediation Council and member of the Family Mediators Association.

Mediation Areas

• Landlord and Tenant

• Consumer

• Contract

• Personal Injury and Professional Negligence

• Discrimination and Equality

• Education and Health

• Employment and workplace


CEDR accredited mediator 2013

LLM, University College London 2004

Bar Finals, Inns of Court School of Law 1992

Graduate Diploma of Law, City University 1991

PGCE, Institute of Education 1983

English BA (Hons), Oxford University 1978

Articles and Publications

Mediation Secrets “in the Shadow of the Law”, Civil Justice Quarterly, Vol 35 Issue 1, 2015

Conscience in the Courts – another view of Eweida, recent developments in equality law, Law and Justice, December 2013


CEDR accredited civil and commercial mediator

IDRS panel member Funeral Arbitration Service (Conciliation)

FMA accredited family mediator

Trustee and mediator for Mediation Hertfordshire since 2013

Mediator for Lambeth Mediation Service 1990 to 1994

Seventeen years experience in the voluntary sector, including work as public affairs adviser for the British Quakers

Seconded to the Commission on Equality and Human Rights to advise on including the religion and belief strand within its cross strand work

Refugee Council Trustee 2005 to 2012

Experience as a teacher in schools, colleges, university and adult education for the British Council in Ecuador and W.E.A. in the U.K.