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david@davidhoopermediator.co.uk

19 May 2016

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 May 19, 2016
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There is a debate among lawyers as to the best time to mediate: early, while costs are still relatively low; or later, once there has been full disclosure and each side is totally clear about the other side’s case. In low value disputes – anything less than £50,000, for example – the problem with delaying is that legal costs quickly rise to the point where they swamp the cost of the claim. Then the mediation becomes focussed on who will pay those costs, rather than on a practical solution to the dispute itself. Having recently finished a mediation in which the combined costs at the date of mediation stood at double the amount in dispute, I can only ask the question: whose interests are being served by refusing to mediate until all witness statements have been prepared and the legal costs exceed the amount in dispute?

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