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We have long been an advocate of opt out mediation in the Court system. It is frequently the case that one party will indicate one their directions questionnaire that they are willing to mediate but if the other party refuses then the Court mediation service will not proceed. In any event, the “mediation” by telephone consists of a telephone call and asking the parties if they are willing to resolve matters, without the benefit of the file. We are informed that HMCTS is for the smallest claims (under £300), are testing ‘opt out’ rather than ‘opt in’ mediation. This is in our view a step in the rights direction but mediation should be opt out or preferably tried before issuing proceedings.