Types of Dispute

Virtually any dispute is suitable for mediation, such as:

  • Personal injury claims – mediation is suitable for resolving not just disputes about liability and quantum but also, for example, disputes between insurers as to their respective liabilities to a claimant. Where the claimant is a protected party, a settlement can be agreed, subject to the approval of the court.
  • Company – director and shareholder disputes, particularly in “family” companies where there is a breakdown in relationships between the directors.
  • Employment – employment disputes inevitably take up much management time and can have an unsettling effect upon the workforce, who all too often know that a colleague is in dispute with management. Gossip can cause reputational damage to both the employer and the employee. So disputes within the workplace such as disciplinary issues, harassment, bullying, discrimination, stress and termination of employment will benefit from the non-confrontational approach of a mediation, preferably well before either party contemplates tribunal proceedings, thus preserving the reputation of both the employer and the employee.
  • Education – in schools and universities disputes can arise between the educational establishment and its employees or students, either current or past. Where an educational establishment faces allegations relating to incidents that occurred many years ago, there is a risk of substantial reputational damage. Any claim can be settled at a mediation on confidential terms.
  • Defamation and privacy – libel and slander (including publication on the internet), whistleblowing, invasion of privacy and reputational damage are all matters better addressed confidentially in a mediation. “Damage” has possibly already been caused and the situation is not helped by further publicity.
  • Commercial – breach of contract, professional negligence, partnership and product liability disputes are all ideal for mediation, where the ability to agree terms of settlement that are outside the range of a court judgement can bring a real benefit to the parties, not least of which is the ability to avoid adverse publicity.
  • Insurance – policy disputes between a policyholder and an insurer and disputes between co-insurers as to their respective liabilities to another party. Mediation is ideally suited to the requirement of an insurer to settle a claim within its reserve, for it enables the insurer to keep control of the claim (and therefore its cost).
  • Family – disputes between beneficiaries and executors and trustees and between beneficiaries themselves can result in substantial legal costs being incurred, costs which often directly reduce the very fund to which the beneficiary is entitled. A mediation can resolve not only the financial aspects of a dispute but can also repair to some extent the breakdown in personal relationships.
  • Co-habitees – property and financial disputes that arise following the breakdown of a relationship between couples.