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Should Civil & Commercial Mediation be Compulsory in England & Wales?

Hunt ADR Associate Mediator Roger Levitt discusses issues surrounding any possible move make mediation compulsory. Includes Q&A session.

Introduced by Gregory Hunt, this 90 minute CPD workshop sees Hunt ADR Associate Mediator Roger Levitt discuss issues surrounding any possible move make mediation compulsory.

Includes Q&A session with Roger and Gregg. Certificate of attendance provided (electronic).

Could now be the time when a reform movement gathers momentum? Roger will discuss this, adding as a preamble:-

The Pandemic has brought into sharp focus the ability (or inability) of the Courts to cope with the volume of cases, that they found difficult dealing with before the pandemic.

It appears axiomatic that more disputes should be kept out of Court .

There has been more commentary on the issue, but in particular:-

  • Reports of speeches by recently appointed Master of the Rolls, Sir Geoffrey Vos indicate that he admits that the idea of compulsion is 'highly controversial' but says that the Civil Justice Council is looking at the extent to which litigants should be forced to mediate.

  • Sir Geoffrey commented that "almost every dispute has a 'sweet spot' when it is amenable to consensual resolution." (he didn't commit outright to supporting compulsion).

Roger's view is that as the CMC proposed to the Civil Justice Council in 2017, there should be an automatic referral to mediation once a claim is issued. This should have fee/ costs consequences, so if the claimant agrees to mediate, they would only pay a nominal court fee, and they should have a costs penalty if they fail to mediate, unless for clearly defined reasons, for example, precedent or public policy.

He adds that it would also be helpful, in his view, if a system was implemented similar to the MIAM (Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting) used in Family cases, (but with a higher fee of say £250-300)

Your Speaker Roger Levitt is an Accredited Commercial Mediator and until 2018 he was a practising Solicitor with 34 years experience in private practice as a property solicitor in all areas of commercial and residential property law.

He has extensive experience in mediating disputes in the following areas:

Business and Commerce | Contract | Partnership (including family business disputes) | Trusts & Probate | ‘Families at War’ | Employment & Workplace Commercial | Landlord and Tenant | Property - all types of commercial & residential | Construction | Professional Indemnity | Disputes with a religious context | Insurance | Franchising


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