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Mediation v Court
Mediation v Court
The mediation process takes much less time than moving a case through standard legal channels. While a case in the hands of a court may take years to resolve, mediation usually achieves a resolution in a matter of hours. Taking less time means expending less money on hourly fees and costs.
Once legal proceedings issue and correspondence goes back and forth between both sides Solicitors it can be 2 years before the matter comes on for hearing in Court and by then both sides can be become entrenched and their positions become polarized. After 2 years it is not surprising that bitterness exists between the parties and an “I’m right you’re wrong” attitude becomes very difficult to shift and more often than not the case settles on the steps of the courthouse because this is generally the first time the parties actually meet and both sides actually get to discuss what the issues and risks are. Parties then see the risks and see their potential weaknesses in their own case and decide to settle after 2 years.
If both parties can sit down together at the beginning of the dispute with an unbiased mediator and talk their issues out and essentially strike while the iron is hot rather than leave the issue fester then their dispute can be settled in a matter of hours saving time and money and stress.
Typically legal costs in the Circuit Court are €8,000 to €12,000 or more and you have the added risk of paying the other sides costs if you lose.
Mediation on other hand may cost €2,000 between the parties for the mediator, the cost of hiring a meeting room in a hotel for the day and hiring a Solicitor to help prepare the case and represent you at the mediaiton if necessary. The potential savings are huge with no risk of paying the other sides’ costs and the dispute is resolved in a matter of hours as opposed to 2 years down the road.
A supreme Court Judge made the comment that mediation is a “no-brainer” for business. Speaking at an Irish Commercial Mediation Association function (ICMA) Justice Fidelma Macken said that a significant amount of money was unnecessarily spent on litigation where it was obvious that a more appropriate and effective option may have been mediation.
In Ireland the cost of litigation is estimated to be over twice as high as in other countries. Typically costs for a €200,000 claim run to over €50,000 while in the rest of Europe the cost for a similar claim would be nearer €25,000.When this is compared to the cost of mediation on the exact same amount, the figure drops dramatically down to €7,000.Judge Macken also pointed out the significant amount of time spent preparing for and actually going to court.“Anything that can be done to prevent people spending time away from their business at the moment needs to be taken seriously,” she said.
Statistics show that on average a legal business dispute can take up to 500 days to resolve where, according to the ICMA, mediation takes in the region of 40 days to decide from the start of the dispute to settlement.