Mediation—opening presentation
Mediation—opening presentation

The following Dispute Resolution guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Mediation—opening presentation
  • Form of opening presentation
  • Aim of opening presentation
  • Content of opening presentation
  • Practical points when drafting opening presentation
  • Length of opening presentation
  • Who makes the opening presentation?
  • During and after the opening presentations

The opening presentations will be made by each party in a joint meeting at the beginning of the mediation, for further detail of how mediations may progress see Practice Note: Stages of the mediation.

Form of opening presentation

Prior to the mediation you will need to ensure you discuss in detail with your client:

  1. the form of the opening presentation, see Practice Note: Mediation—practical arrangements—Pre-mediation meetings—lawyers and client, and

  2. who should make the presentation—often it will be more powerful if the presentation is made by the client themselves. See below

The presentation will be delivered orally and depending on who is to give it and their preference for style of delivery you should give thought as to whether it is suitable to produce a written speech that they deliver or some detailed bullet points—this tends to be more effective as eye contact will be maintained and more likely to hold the attention of the other attendees than a written speech.

Aim of opening presentation

The opening presentation has the following main objectives:

  1. to influence the other party’s decision maker—it offers a unique opportunity to put forward your best case direct to the other party’s key decision makers. This may be the first face-to-face meeting of the clients for some time or over

  2. to set the tone for an appropriate discussion