St Albans Chambers has recently formed Alban Resolution Centre to provide for the demand in mediations.
Alban Resolution Centre can be found at http://www.albanresolutioncentre.com/home
- Chambers has a number of Bar Council Accredited Mediators.
- They cover a range of specialist areas, from Family through Property to Personal Injury and other common law disputes.
- Chambers can provide all the necessary facilities and support to maximise the chance of a successful mediation.
- Chambers has links with other local Mediators should a larger team be required.
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.
Confererence & 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.