Samuel Okoronkwo

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Should you choose mediation or litigation to solve a dispute?

When it comes to settling family disputes, mediation and litigation are both acceptable paths to take. However, litigation takes the process to court where a judge will make binding decisions. In contrast, mitigation is a voluntary and collaborative process where a neutral third party helps family members/involved parties come to mutually agreeable solutions.

While it is always best to determine which path to follow on a case-by-case basis, mediation is usually the favoured method for family disputes. However, to ensure you choose the path most suitable to your situation, it is important to understand the distinct differences between mediation and litigation and why mediation is usually the favoured method.

What is the litigation process?

Simply put, litigation is the process of taking a dispute to court. Usually, it involves a business or individual taking legal action against one or more parties involved in the dispute. In cases of family disputes, there is the possibility that taking this action will expose sensitive family matters to the public. Therefore, as well as being more time-consuming and expensive, this is the main reason mediation is favoured in cases of family disputes.

What is the mediation process?

Mediation is a much more collaborative process for dispute resolution, especially concerning family matters. The process begins with both parties coming together with their chosen mediator to discuss the issue(s) outside of court. The role of the mediator is to facilitate open communication, identify common goals and guide the family to their own agreements.

How can Mercantile Barristers help with mediation?

As well as keeping matters private, mediation is being increasingly favoured due to the administrative backlogs in domestic courts. For this reason, it is not only family members that are turning to mediation. Civil and commercial dispute mediation is also available for sole traders, company directors and corporations for business disputes.

Our experienced Mediation Barristers are experts in all aspects of mediation law as it applies in the resolution of legal disputes. They have decades of experience in resolving individual disputes and business disputes by mediation across our practice areas.

These areas include but are not limited to:

– Contractual disputes
– Director disputes
– Shareholder disputes
– Professional negligence disputes
– Misrepresentation disputes

For family matters, we can also aid with:

– Family business mediation
– Family trusts mediation
– Inheritance mediation
– Probate mediation

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