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  7. Litigation vs Mediation

Litigation vs Mediation

What is the difference between litigation and meditation?

Disagreements between individuals and businesses are often unavoidable.

We take a look at the differences between litigation and mediation. Not only can disputes be costly, they are also time consuming and distracting, so choosing the right option to reach a fair and speedy resolution is essential, says Andrew Wylde, partner in our Dispute Resolution team.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a process used to settle disputes in a diverse, extensive range of situations. The mediator is a facilitator not a judge and therefore does not take sides.

Mediation is a structured, interactive process when an individual – such as a lawyer or adviser – who is impartial and neutral, helps the parties involved to reach a mutually satisfactory settlement.

The process is informal, flexible, voluntary, confidential, has limited costs, and very speedy and highly successful.

What is Litigation?

This is the process of taking a disagreement to a court of law.

Broadly speaking, litigation is divided into three stages:

  1. The issue of proceedings by the Claimant and the filing of a Defence by the Defendant;
  2. Pre-trial procedures, including disclosure of documents, witness statements and expert reports.
  3. Trials, when the case is heard by a judge, at which he or she gives a judgement in favour of either the Claimant or the Defendant.

Which is best?

Mediation should always be considered, especially because the civil courts expect the parties to explore it.  As well as being fast and relatively cheap, the outcome is legally binding, and has a success rate in excess of 80%.

Mediation also helps to preserve important relationships, something which is less likely in litigation, and so is especially well-suited and relevant in a business or family dispute.

Litigation is often expensive, lengthy, and the outcome at trial is not always guaranteed.  However, litigation is sometimes unavoidable in certain types of claim or where the parties have become entrenched.

More information

To find out more about Lodders Dispute Resolution services, contact Andrew Wylde, dispute resolution solicitor.

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Need more advice?

Mike has more than 30 years’ experience in handling dispute resolution work. His clients tend to be business owners, family businesses, and private individuals. Mike enjoys working with clients to find a solution to their dispute in the most expedient and cost-effective way possible.