17 November, 2010
Forbes Solicitors is urging people to follow the Government's lead and look at mediation before unnecessarily taking a case to court.
When the Justice Secretary announced that the Government had agreed that payments should be made to settle claims brought by Guantanamo Bay prisoners, he said that the settlement had been reached at mediation. The day before he had announced sweeping reductions in the availability of civil legal aid, suggesting that instead parties could resolve their disputes via mediation.
Dispute resolution experts at Forbes Solicitors are warning that failure to deal with disputes through mediation can lead to increased costs, and will take longer to resolve through the Court system.
Robin Stephens, Senior Commercial Litigation Solicitor at Forbes said, "The Justice secretary made it clear that the costs and delay in litigating the Guantanamo case made it prohibitive. They were able to secure confidentiality of terms, whereas Court hearings would have been in public. As the Court system also copes with spending cuts the delays will get worse and the costs of going to court will get higher, making mediation a more attractive option. Statistically mediation has over an 80% success rate, so individuals and businesses with disputes would be well advised to consider it".