Mediation is a means of resolving a disagreement without having to go to court. Both sides agree to appoint a qualified Mediator, who facilitates discussion and negotiation with a view to reaching an agreement which works for both parties. The entire mediation usually takes place over the course of a day, at an agreed venue, but can also take place virtually using an online conferencing platform.
Unlike the court system, mediation is entirely driven by the parties; they are in control of all aspects of the mediation; where, when, who to mediate and what issues they want to confront. Instead of months, often years, of agreeing and serving document bundles, short court dates to fix later dates for hearings, court delays, continued litigation costs for a solicitor and often a barrister, a mediation can be arranged at any point, on a date of your choice and the fee for the day is agreed, fixed and often split between the parties.
Although it is often arranged between solicitors once both sides of an argument have been established, it can be done at any time and – in fact – the earlier the better, especially when business and personal relationships are at stake.
Victoria can use mediation as a tool to resolve any type of dispute or claim, from arguments over boundary extents to personal injury claims, from international shipping contracts to wills and inheritance disputes. Mediation is the perfect collaborative environment to explore areas of agreement and establish common ground. It is a creative process; allowing the parties to address personal and commercial issues which would not be resolved through court litigation, which often imposes an arbitrary conclusion which doesn't meet either party's real needs.