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CII BLOG > Blogs > Encouraging Mediation to Efficiently Resolve Disputes

Encouraging Mediation to Efficiently Resolve Disputes

Breda O'Malley, Partner and Head of Employment at Hayes Solicitors explains the advantages of Mediation when resolving disputes.
26 Sep 2022
Blogs

What is Mediation?

It is a means for parties to voluntarily commit to resolving disputes speedily, privately and cost-efficiently.

Use of Mediation for Charities

Disputes arise within charitable organisations in a variety of contexts. Mediation is an effective way of resolving most types of disputes, without the necessity to go to court, including conflicts between members, trustees, directors or employees; complaints from the public; disagreements with local authorities or government bodies; disputes with commercial partners or service providers; and disputes around governance, finances and the purpose and function of the charity. Mediation can also be used in disputes such as personal injury claims, property disputes, employment disputes, commercial disputes and construction disputes.

The Mediation Process

Parties must first agree to enter into mediation on a voluntary basis in an effort to resolve a dispute. Parties must also agree on a mutually acceptable mediator.

The appointed mediator is not a decision maker – they cannot force the parties to make an agreement or enter into a settlement. The mediator simply facilitates the parties to reach an agreement among themselves. The parties have full control of the situation and can walk away at any stage.

A date is typically set aside for the mediation. A mediation will typically take place over a day, at a neutral venue. The mediator may have an initial meeting in advance of the mediation day, with the parties to discuss what it is hoped will be achieved through the mediation.

If a resolution if found, the mediator will suggest that the parties enter into a Mediation Agreement – this is a legally binding settlement agreement entered into by the parties.

In terms of cost, the parties usually agree to pay the costs of the mediator and the venue, on a 50-50 basis, and parties will also have the costs of their own legal representatives.

Advantages of Mediation for Charities

One of the main advantages of mediation is that it can be a more cost effective and faster way of resolving disputes than dealing with the matter through the courts.

Mediations are conducted in private and on a confidential basis, therefore removing the possibility of media coverage that may come about as a result of a court case.

Mediation helps address power imbalances and allows individual parties to air their grievances in a safe space. Mediation involves voluntary participation at all times, and allows parties to control the outcome while having the option to withdraw from the mediation at any time.

Mediation is flexible and allows for creative solutions not available through the courts system, taking into account the specifics of the situation, including a monetary settlement, an apology or an agreement to change a process or policy.

Mediation enables the parties to maintain their relationship after the dispute has been resolved, which can be helpful for charities.

Recommendation

Mediation is a particularly useful means of resolving both minor disagreements and major disputes in the charities sector, and consideration should be given to its use prior to engaging in other dispute resolution processes, in the costly courts system.

Hayes solicitors LLP Mediation Services

At Hayes solicitors LLP, we are committed to, and have a keen interest in, the use of mediation. We encourage mediation and early dispute resolution as pragmatic responses to disputes, avoiding litigation for our clients where possible in order to provide the most cost-effective service. We have three highly experienced and respected accredited mediators who are committed to exploring alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in all kinds of disputes, including in corporate/commercial, healthcare litigation, property and workplace disputes.

For further information please contact Breda O’Malley, Partner and Head of Employment; bomalley@hayes-solicitors.ie or 01 6624747.


15 - 17 Leinster Street South
Dublin 2

e. info@charitiesinstituteireland.ie
t. 01 541 4770

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CRO: 335412

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