A trained mediator is appointed to have separate discussions with both you and the other side to your dispute. The mediator is independent and will not take sides. The mediator controls the discussions – making sure both sides get to have their say.
Unlike a judge, the mediator does not judge you. The mediator’s role is not to find a winner and a loser – instead the mediator seeks to find a solution that both sides could live with.
"Small Claims Mediation are recognised as leaders at helping people sort out small claims. They were winners at the National Mediation Awards 2014. This company demonstrate that resolving disputes can be achieved quickly and cost-effectively. They can remove months and months of stress for our customers. They won the 2014 Innovation Award for Online Dispute Resolution. I am proud that QualitySolicitors work with Small Claims Mediation for the swift resolution of claims and disputes under £10,000."
Which is best for you – mediation or the court?:
|Small Claims Mediation||Small Claims Court|
|SPEED||Both you and the other side have to agree to try mediation. If you do, Small Claims Mediation (UK) Ltd find 80% of their cases are resolved within 14 days.||The small claims court can have a waiting list of 6 months or more. But it does have the power to force an outcome on the other side.|
|CONVENIENCE||Using the telephone and sharing documents online means you can be at home.||Sometimes starting the court process will lead to the other side settling the dispute. But if it goes to a hearing you will need to travel to court.|
|TIME||Appointments are arranged to suit your needs. Daytime, evening and weekends are available.||The usual court hours are Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm.|
All discussions are private and confidential including any agreements reached. Clauses can be agreed to protect reputations and to not make negative comments on social networking sites or trade forums.
|Small claims hearings usually take place in the judge’s private meeting room. So they are not like trials on TV. Both sides sit down with the judge – who will help them set out their case. Once the judge makes a decision the court order is a public document.|
|BINDING||A binding agreement is reached that both sides sign and usually follow.||County Court Judgments are also binding but you may have to take further steps to force the other side to comply.|
The mediation process means that you and the other side are actively involved in the resolution of your dispute.
This makes any ongoing relationships more likely. This can be important for businesses and for neighbours and friends
The outcome usually ends with a winner and a loser.
This can cause ongoing resentment. Also County Court Judgments (CCJs) can cause problems for the loser getting credit
|COST EFFECTIVE||For a £5,000 dispute each side pays £129 (inc VAT) for up to 2 hours including preparing a binding agreement.||For a £5,000 dispute the court fee is £120 plus £40 to apply for the hearing. But many people find they also need to pay us for help completing the court forms and applications.|
|What you pay|
|Step One||Free Initial Assessment||Find out if you have a dispute where we can help and which service is best for you.||
10 minute call
|Step Two||Fixed price advice meeting||
More detailed advice on how the law applies to you and your particular situation.
Your rights. What compensation or other remedy you can claim. Your options. And whether mediation in your best interests.
Help getting started. Your questions answered!
|Step Three||Telephone mediation||If we think it is in your best interests, and you are willing, we will refer your details to Small Claims Mediation (UK) Ltd.||
£99 for up to 2 hours mediation (where amount disputed is under £5,000)
After you’ve paid an admin fee of £20, Small Claims Mediation (UK) Ltd will appoint an independent mediator. This mediator will then call you to discuss your case, the complaint letter you may have sent, and any documents to support your claim.
|OTHER SIDE||The mediator will then contact the other side to try to persuade them of the benefits of using mediation instead of you taking them to the small claims court. For mediation to work, you both will need to agree to try mediation.|
|BOOKING||A day and time (convenient to you both is then set aside), usually in the following week (including weekends and evenings). You both pay the mediation fee (in your case this is less the £20 you have already paid).|
|TELEPHONE MEDIATION||For disputes involving up to £5,000, 2 hours is usually all that is needed. This can include stopping the clock to take a break. It is not solid time on the phone as the mediator will speak to you both separately.|
|BINDING AGREEMENT||Where an agreement is reached that both sides can live with – then the mediator will put this into a legal agreement that you both sign. A successful outcome like this is reached in over 80% of cases.|
The cost: QualitySolicitors can offer clients special prices from Small Claims Mediation (UK) Ltd:
|What you pay||What it covers|
£20 Administration Fee.
This is refunded to you if the mediation goes ahead.
|Payable if you agree to try mediation to make the arrangements with both sides.|
|Amount in dispute is £5,000 or less||
£99 Mediation fee
(£119 less your refunded £20 administration fee)
A mediation of up to 2 hours; in the rare cases more time is needed, £59 for each extra hour (or part hour).
|Amount in dispute is £5,001 to £15,000||
(£359 less your refunded £20 administration fee)
|A mediation of up to 3 hours; £129 for each extra hour (or part hour).|
|Amount in dispute is £15,001 to £50,000||
(£659 less your refunded £20 administration fee)
|A mediation of up to 4 hours; £129 for each extra hour (or part hour).|
|Amount in dispute is over £50,000||Fees by agreement with the mediator.|
The mediation discussions are confidential. This means if either of you offer a concession or admit something during mediation (perhaps to try and secure agreement) then the admission or concession cannot be referred to at court.
The aim of the mediator will be to help you both reach an agreement that you could both live with.
The mediator will try to cover all the issues you need to resolve relating to the dispute.
Agreement is not always possible on every issue using mediation but, even then, the process is often helpful in reducing the tension between the 2 sides to the dispute. This will usually reduce the time (and therefore, the cost) of taking the matter through the small claims court.
SCM is the only specialist small claims mediation service, outside of the Ministry of Justice and is headed up by a former Small Claims Court Mediator. They believe that small claims can have a huge impact on lives and businesses and that the sooner these disputes are resolved the better for all concerned. They have designed their service to meet the needs of people in dispute and they have a wealth of experience across their panel of mediators.
Cost is incredibly important when it comes to small claims and we have ensured that their fixed fees are kept in proportion to the size of the claim and are less than the overall cost of taking the dispute through the courts.
From the first call with their Admin Manager through to the mediation itself they will ease you through the process, keeping it jargon free and as comfortable as possible.