Less than five months into my role at Silver Shemmings Ash and I am already sitting at a mediation table, putting my skills into practice!
In simple terms, mediation is a way of resolving disputes that involves an impartial third party, without the need to go to court. Parties tend to choose mediation as it is a fast and cost-effective process compared to court proceedings. It is also a confidential procedure whether you achieve the results you expected or not. You must be very well prepared, ensuring that you have provided your legal representatives with all the relevant information well in advance of the mediation (even if you think a piece of information may not be relevant, it is best to hand it to your legal representatives) to avoid getting ambushed. It is our job to decide whether and how to use that information. It is also our job to be ruthless with the procedure, the opponents and with you, but we are with you at every step of the way. We explain the process, the likely outcome and what to expect. Preparation is the key, knowing the opponents is crucial and at the end of the day, we do what the clients instruct us to do!
I cannot really compare my experience with any other mediation as I have only done it once. However, to me mediation is all about personality, preparation, knowing your client well and the ability to predict the outcomes. I learned that organisation is an important factor in preparing for mediation, creating a clear picture of the relevant events which will allow the mediator to simply assist in reaching a settlement. We are in this to get the best outcome for the client, therefore for me, it is important to be able to see the whole picture and analyse every step and the people around the table (or in the room next door). This is what challenges me the most and I enjoy it a lot
My first mediation experience was hardly a dramatic experience however, I have learnt that to get the results I want, I need the skills and ability to turn the odds in my client’s favour and that is something that can be learnt through time and patience
Author Sabra Farmand has several years of experience in complex litigation and international arbitration matters. She has vast knowledge of English procedural rules and has dealt with clients from South America, Middle East and Europe and speaks several languages; Farsi (native), English (professional and legal level), Arabic, Chinese (elementary level)