Q&As

Where parties live a significant distance from one another, are they still expected to engage in mediation and if so, how and where?

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Produced in partnership with Daniel Laking of 39 Essex Chambers
Published on LexisPSL on 02/01/2019

The following Dispute Resolution Q&A produced in partnership with Daniel Laking of 39 Essex Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Where parties live a significant distance from one another, are they still expected to engage in mediation and if so, how and where?

Where parties live a significant distance from one another, are they still expected to engage in mediation and if so, how and where?

Civil litigation is increasingly focussed on alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Litigators will be familiar with directions questionnaires which offer a stay to attempt settlement, and in small claims cases, a dedicated civil mediation service exists to help parties reach an agreement. See Practice Note: What is ADR? But how do you take advantage of mediation? And what practical steps need to be negotiated in order for it to be effective?

The starting point which runs through the Civil Procedure Rules is that all parties are expected to engage in some form of ADR, notwithstanding issues regarding distance or practicality. Therefore, the fact parties live a significant distance from each other should not prevent them from engaging in some form of ADR. This can be both formal and informal. An exchange of emails regarding settlement would qualify as ADR, as would a telephone conversation with the other party. Of course, more formalised versions of ADR include mediation, arbitration and joint settlement meetings. The benefit of ADR is that it is flexible and different methods can be used depending on the parties’ requirements. A failure to engage in negotiations can lead to costs consequences, whatever track the case is allocated to. However, only in small

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