Fixed Fee Mediations for not-quite-small claims

Bruce Greig
February 15, 2021

Fixed fee mediation for smaller claims. As a former business owner, I will understand the real issues behind your dispute better than most mediators. I'll help you and the other side navigate to an out-of-court settlement with the minimum of fuss and drama. Try mediation first before taking your chances in court. Over 80% of mediations reach a settlement.

Disputes which sit just above the Fast Track threshold (£25,000) can be a headache to resolve. If the other side is contesting your claim, then they must think they can win. And they probably have lawyers advising them that they can win. You, and your lawyers, presumably think you will win.

But you can't all be right. Only one side is going to win in court.

And above the Fast Track threshold you risk having to pay the other side's big legal bill if you lose. (You may still have to pay costs if you lose a Fast Track case, but the amounts are limited to around £1,500) A claim in the tens of thousands can rack up vasty disproportionate legal fees, with fees quickly overshadowing the size of the claim.

As the legal bills on both sides grow, it becomes ever-harder to reach a negotiated settlement because no-one wants to pay the other side's fees.

Court proceedings are risky and time-consuming and stressful. Because of the pandemic, you might have to wait a year for a trial date.

You can use that time effectively by offering to mediate the case well before it reaches court. This doesn't have to delay the court proceedings at all, but could well eliminate them altogether. Indeed, it is very likely to eliminate them altogether because the vast majority of mediations do settle. There is nearly always a zone where both sides agree it is best to settle and walk away, you just need to navigate to that zone. And the lower the legal fees are, the larger that zone of possible agreement will be.

As a trained commercial mediator, my job is to help you (and the other side) find that zone of possible agreement. It isn't rocket science, and you could do it yourself, but it is much easier with a professional neutral party guiding the way.

I have an extensive business background, so I will understand the realities of your dispute much better than many mediators. I can cut through the legal wrangling. I can understand the numbers. I am very good at explaining things - which is crucial as a mediator. You'll want me to explain to your opponent things which they might not have fully understood. I can do that.

I can get you both to a point where you each understand the other side's position quite clearly. Then it is just a matter of deciding whether there is a place where you can settle. You will have dealt with the emotion, and parked that all to one side. You will be left with a simple commercial decision: is it worth accepting/paying £x right now? The dispute will have become just like any other commercial decision, and you can comfortably decide to take a settlement if there is one to be found. Or you might find that no settlement was possible and you have to call on a judge to impose one. That's fine: the worst case is that you have paid for a few hours of my time, you haven't settled, but you have got a much clearer understanding of the real issues.

Best case is that, within a few short hours, the whole mess is done and dusted and you can move on.

If you have a looming dispute which you think might be amendable to a negotiated settlement, get in touch: / 07515 116800.