As businesses work hard to regain ground post-lockdown, they risk being swamped with claims and disputes resulting from problems caused by the disruption. Litigation can be crippling, both with regards to the time taken to deal with it and to the financial cost. At a time when everyone needs to be devoting themselves to finding a way forward and building success, mediation offers the chance to avoid destructive legal battles.
Business disputes post Covid-19
Businesses can expect a substantial number of problems as life returns to normal following the pandemic. With supply chains broken, contracts unfulfilled, consumers unhappy and limited funds available to pay debts, the scope for disputes is extensive.
However, engaging in legal action may well bring a struggling company to its knees. Management and key personnel will need to spend precious hours preparing statements and curating documents, court hearings will take even more time, lawyers’ fees will eat into the budget and months of uncertainty could prevent key business decisions being made.
Add to this the fact that courts are not currently operating at full speed, while simultaneously trying to deal with a huge backlog, and litigation becomes a death knell. The answer is mediation.
The benefits of mediation
Mediation has always been an ideal way to solve disagreements, to the extent that it is a legal requirement to attempt it before commencing some legal actions. At the start of the lockdown period, the Lord Chief Justice encouraged the use of alternative dispute resolution saying, ‘I would urge all before agreeing to adjourn any hearing to use the available time to explore with the parties the possibility for compromise.’
One of the main benefits of mediation is that you do not need to agree to anything unless it is acceptable to you. If you go through the court process a result will be imposed on you, and it may not be the outcome you were hoping for. With mediation, the final result is agreed upon by both parties. You also have the option to tailor a solution to fit your business in a way that a court would not be able to do.
A skilled mediator will take you through the process, working with you to help you find a way forward. The process is far quicker than litigation and a fraction of the cost. It can also be implemented far earlier in a dispute, which again helps to limit damage.
With mediation there is also the opportunity to salvage a profitable business relationship, should you wish to do so.
With many people still working at home and the risk of Covid-19 still looming large, another benefit of mediation is its availability in online format.
The mediator will control the online meeting, ensuring that it is secure and not recorded, and will be able to speak to both parties together or separately as needed. In fact, online mediation was gaining in popularity even prior to the pandemic because of the time-saving benefits. As well as cutting out travel time, participants can also use time between sessions or when the mediator is meeting with the other side to carry on with work.
At Lux Mediation, we offer a range of different Dispute Resolution Services, designed to deal with all types and stages of disputes. We are experienced in and understand the subtleties of online mediation. Our mediators have extensive credentials and experience in areas including maritime, international, EU and general commercial and civil law.
If you would like to explore further whether online dispute resolution can help you to resolve a dispute or you have any questions about the process, please call Lux-Mediation on +44 (0)7876 232305 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.