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A Solution is better than Litigation

29 Jun 2010

Hay & Kilner has extensive experience of mediation and other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution. Martin Soloman, a partner on Hay & Kilner’s commercial dispute resolution team, encourages many of his clients to avoid costly litigation.

Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution that is encouraged by the Courts as an alternative to the traditional litigation process. It can offer a quick, private and relatively inexpensive solution to a dispute without necessarily devastating an ongoing business relationship. It can also provide a way of converting expensive litigation into a cost saving deal which benefits all parties.

It is an informal process in which a qualified mediator, an impartial third party, assists opposing parties to reach a voluntary, negotiated resolution. Mediation provides a neutral and confidential setting where both parties can openly discuss their views on the underlying dispute. The Mediator’s job is to win confidence and facilitate a deal – not impose their own view.

A successful mediation is one where both sides emerge feeling that they have obtained control over and certainty about the outcome of their dispute.

In England, mediation of commercial disputes is not compulsory and parties can ignore the process if they wish to do so. The Court is increasingly taking a dim view of those parties who refuse, without good reason, to mediate. The general rule on costs, that the unsuccessful party pays, has been overturned in several cases where the key factor in awarding costs has been the refusal by one party to mediate. Just as importantly, mediation is proven to have a high success rate in achieving final solutions to disputes.

Martin Soloman, who is an accredited mediator and also senior partner at Hay & Kilner, is at the forefront of the firm’s push towards offering structured informal mediation, in addition to encouraging more formal alternatives to litigation. He wins praise from clients in Chambers Guide 2007, for “his damage limitation approach, examining every possible alternative to litigation before he digs his heels in to fight.” Clients recommend the team as “quick, efficient and good at getting results.”

What are the advantages of mediation?

Saves Time and Money

Mediation usually occurs early in the life of a dispute and many mediations are completed in one meeting (lasting a day). Mediation is therefore generally a much quicker process than traditonal litigation and can cost materially less than going to Court.



A mediator does not have the power to impose a settlement on the parties. They decide for themselves if settlement is possible and the accetable terms. There is no determination of liability in the mediation process.


Mediations are private and confidential.

Avoids Litigation

Lengthy litigation and the uncertainty of judicial outcome can be avoided.

If you would like to find out more about mediation or if you have a commercial dispute on which you would like legal advice please contact Rodney Jones or Martin Soloman in Hay & Kilner’s commercial dispute resolution team by telephone on: (0191) 232 8345 or by email: rodney.jones@hay-kilner.co.uk 

Please note:
This article is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues. Please contact us to discuss how the contents of the article may affect you.