Top Notch Legal
TopNotch Legal provides value for money legal services to business.

Mediation

WHY MEDIATE?

 

Taking a case to Court can be fraught with uncertainties.  Whilst we may believe we have a strong case there are often arguments that arise in Court that we weren’t expecting or a particular slant is put upon facts that isn’t in our favour.  There are all sorts of reasons why your case may not be as strong as you first thought.  Add to that the fact that judges often disagree on what should be the right outcomes so even if you win the other side might decide to appeal against that decision and could be successful.  This is not to say that you should never take a case to Court.  Sometimes one party just has no goodwill in the matter and wont negotiate fairly no matter what.  Fortunately, in business most people take a pragmatic view and want the option with the lower cost and least risk.

However, a court case can take months and, sometimes, years.  Whilst the case is being prepared, information is gathered and shared with the other side, much time is spent on tactics and legal costs keep mounting.  Oftentimes you will spend many thousands of dollars before your day in Court arrives.  Whilst this is going on, you are faced with stress and various negative emotions that can impact on your ability to think clearly and run your business effectively.

Contrast all this with mediation.  The process is far less complicated than the Court system, it is quicker and less expensive by far, though it does comes with some costs. 

Our focus is on commercial mediation which can generally be arranged within a few weeks from appointment of the mediator.  Whilst you will be required to provide the facts of the situation and some evidence, for example, of a contract and, perhaps, purchase orders or invoices you will not be required to provide the mountainous volumes of evidence required by a Court. 

Oftentimes the parties will come to a mutual agreement that has been worked through by themselves, with the assistance of the mediator and other advisers if they are present.  In some cases a commercial relationship might be restored and the parties decide that their best option is to continue in their arrangements with some of the terms changed, as a result of the mediation.  In any case, our preference is to assist the parties to make their own agreement at the mediation because then they are willing stand by their agreement. 

 

WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT IN A MEDIATION?

If time permits we prefer to meet with the parties before the actual mediation.  This gives us a chance to get an overview of how they view the situation and to explain the process and what they can expect on the day.  You may bring a legal adviser or any other person to assist you provided both parties agree.

We encourage the parties to speak face to face with the mediator present as this provides a dynamic atmosphere in which the situation and each party’s perspective is often changed.  In addition, you will be given the opportunity to speak with the mediator privately and speak of things you are not comfortable to speak about in the presence of the other party.  The mediator will often give you a perspective or new context into which you can view that information. 

All communication in the mediation must be kept confidential and is not, to the extent the law permits, to be used against you in subsequent court proceedings.  This give you a freedom to speak of important matters that you might otherwise have been reluctant to have made known in case it could have been used against you.  Oftentimes this is information that’s proves to be crucial in turning the situation around.

How Long Will it Take?

Most commercial mediations can be dealt with in a half or whole day, depending on the complexity of the matter.

How much will it Cost?

You will need to pay the mediator for their time and for the cost of the venue and these costs are shared between the parties.  In addition, you will pay for any professional advisers or consultants you chose to engage.

Why Chose TopNotch Mediation

Glenda, our mediator, is a commercial lawyer with over 30 years’ experience in negotiating contracts and disputes.  She has not practised commercial litigation and so is not entrenched in the win/lose mentality of the Court system. She is also an accredited member of the Resolution Institute which is a peak body in the alternative dispute arena. Her focus has always been on assisting business owners reach agreements that are profitable for both and will endure.

 

 

 

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