From a commercial perspective, mediating makes much more sense than litigating. The cost is minimal and the dispute stays private. An experienced mediator can transform the personal dynamics and get your dispute resolved there and then.
Litigation can be painfully slow and time-consuming, especially for senior managers. Unpredictable and expensive too. Even with a ‘strong case’, if you ‘win’, your net recovery is unlikely to exceed 50% of your claim and you could end up out of pocket. If you lose, you’ll probably be on the hook for your legal costs, about 70% of theirs, and any counterclaim. ‘Post-Jackson’ the strong message coming out of the courts is that parties need to keep costs proportionate. Right now, parties’ combined legal costs invariably end up dwarfing the claims.
The cost of litigation is the number one concern of in-house counsel of the FTSE 350
When it comes to resolving disputes, there are times when introducing an impartial professional can make a real difference, especially if a relationship is mis-firing. Mistrust and resentment can creep in and parties can get locked against each other.
With increasing pressures on in-house legal budgets, think about:
- Mediating if you sense that normal communication channels may prove ineffective
- Including mediation clauses in standard contracts
- Hiring a dispute specialist who knows their way around mediations to help you secure better settlement terms, and to help your organisation avoid and contain disputes more effectively