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Many people will be wondering how to progress their cases with a large number of Courts closed and people confined to home and unable to meet in person.

The good news is that we can help and here are our top 10 tips:

1. Don’t feel you can only mediate in person. Our mediators are adept at mediating online or by telephone.

2. Online or telephone mediation follows the same process as a mediation meeting, with a joint session if needed and the parties in separate virtual rooms. It is very much like a conference call or webinar that you may be using at work.

3. It is possible to view documents online and to draw up settlement agreements. As before the coronavirus pandemic people email the crucial documents by secure email before the mediation.

4. Confidentiality is key and parties sign a confidentiality agreement. If there is any indication that confidentiality is not being adhered to the mediator is in charge and can terminate the mediation.

5. It is perhaps a more intense process than mediating in person as the spotlight is on the parties for longer. Feel free to request a break if you need it or need to attend to other demands such as vulnerable people or children at home.

6. If you are at all worried about the technology please request a practice session in advance of the mediation and make your pre mediation call a virtual video conference.

7. Speak to your client beforehand and work out what they want to get out of the mediation. It may be more difficult to communicate with them during the mediation itself although you can be in a separate private virtual room.

8. Have a back up available so you can use the phone if the video conference facility fails for some reason (it is normally fine)

9. Be prepared to compromise but don’t feel that the case must settle. There is a 90% success rate for online and telephone mediation, but even the 10% who do not settle may make some progress in narrowing the issues.

10. Don’t worry! You are in safe and experienced hands. The mediator will control the meeting and your main task is to be available. One advantage of online mediation is that it is actually less stressful as you may not want to meet your opponent in person anyway given the nature of any dispute and you don’t have to travel. You can mediate from the comfort and safety of your own home!

To organise an online or telephone mediation please get in touch! Any questions we are giving a live webinar every week on Mondays at 10am to answer your queries.