Choosing the right route to take when you are involved in a dispute is by no means an easy task. Many parties approach the court directly in the hope that litigation will be the best option for them. In some cases, that may be true. But initially, it is wise to stop and consider all the options you have available to you. Mediation is one of those options.
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that involves a neutral third party whose main aim is to try and help the parties reach an agreement.
In order to help property professionals and encourage the use of mediation, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Property Litigation Association (PLA) have worked together to develop a guidance note. RCIS is a leading body for qualifications in land, property and construction and this is the first time it has worked together with another professional body to draft guidance. This guidance note will be useful for surveyors and other property professionals who may be involved in disputes related to property. A copy can be found at:
Currently the note is in its draft form whilst it is open to comments, but it is set to lay out everything you need to know about mediation. A list has even been included on the various types of property dispute that could be suitable for mediation.
The note will break down all aspects of mediation. Beyond the basics of what mediation is, the process you must go through and its advantages over other forms of dispute resolution, the guidance note also includes examples of the typical documents that are required in a mediation such as a draft position statement, a draft mediation agreement as well as important cases that will help you understand more about the workings of mediation and its history.
More people involved in the construction industry should consider alternative dispute resolution such as mediation. Hopefully, once the RICS guidance note is released, this will provide further encouragement for parties to take this voluntary and private route, which very often results in a settlement being achieved without recourse to court or arbitration proceedings.
Key fact from the guidance note:
Just over 75% of cases settled on the day of the mediation, with another 11% settling shortly thereafter to give an aggregate settlement rate of around 86%.
With such a hefty success rate, it is anticipated that many property professionals will be willing to get on board with mediation.
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