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In a recent Court decision (Murray v Bernard) which was a case about challenging a will, the judge reiterated the rule that a refusal to mediate will lead to a costs penalty.  However, in this case although the Claimants had at first refused to mediate, they later changed their minds and it was then the Defendant who decided that he wasn’t ready to mediate.

The judge decided that the Claimants had redeemed themselves by changing their minds. He found that it was not a game where the parties have one opportunity only to mediate for the purposes of the rule. So the Defendant had to pay the costs, but not on an indemnity basis.

The lesson to learn here is that it is never to late to offer to mediate, even if it has previously been refused. Here endeth the lesson.



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