Frequently Asked Questions


Why should I try mediation?

You may want to try mediation if:

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Which cases are not suitable for mediation?

Very few. Some people prefer to take a chance that the judge will find in their favour. Some people simply want to have their day in court. You need to weigh up your chance of success at court with the cost (financial, professional and personal) of continuing to go through the legal process and perhaps not getting the result you want.

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What about workplace mediation?

Click here for our workplace mediation page.

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When is the best time to mediate?

It is usually never too early and never too late. If you are already involved in a court case, you can mediate any time up until the judge makes his/her decision providing both parties agree. If you have not yet started legal proceedings, it may be worth considering whether mediation could help at this point before you incur legal fees.

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Do I need to have a lawyer with me?

The choice is yours. Mediations can happen when both sides have legal representation or when neither side has a lawyer present. Be aware that it is not the job of the mediator to offer legal advice – they are an independent, neutral third party who must remain impartial.

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Can you recommend a good lawyer?

The best way for you to find a local solicitor is to contact your local Law Society (the number will be in your local telephone directory).

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The mediator won’t give legal advice so what do they offer?

The mediator’s job is to manage the process – to enable both parties to have honest conversations about what they really need to get an agreement and to move on. Their role is to help you to get to a settlement.

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Are mediators properly trained?

Mediation training experience varies from mediator to mediator. ACM only work with mediators who have qualifications with the top mediation training bodies in the UK. By choosing us, you are guaranteed a trained, qualified and experienced mediator.

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Are mediators insured?

The Association is insured and all of our mediators are also independently insured.

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Do you do Family Mediation?

If you mean mediating disputes in a family business or mediating any commercial conflict within a family, then yes. If you mean mediating a situation of family breakdown (divorce or separation) then you need to contact a specially trained family mediator as the service provided is quite different. Most areas have a Family Mediation service affiliated to the National Family Mediation Service (NFM). Contact them at

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How much will it cost?

It depends on the type of case. We believe that the cost of mediation should be proportionate to the values involved. Our charges vary from 100 per party for a short mediation of a low value ("Small Claim") case by telephone up to 1,500 per party per day for disputes in the millions. The best next step is to contact us for your free no-obligation consultation.

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Who pays?

The costs of the mediation are split equally between the parties involved and paid in advance of the mediation.

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Do I have to pay even if it doesn’t settle?

Fees for the mediation, split equally between the parties are paid in advance. This is the fee payable to the mediator for facilitating the process regardless of the outcome. However, even though a settlement can never be guaranteed, mediations have a very high success rate and 85% of them settle.

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What if we don’t settle – what then?

All discussions during a mediation are ‘without prejudice’ – this means that nothing discussed can be used as evidence in further legal proceedings. You will not be at a disadvantage by trying mediation if it does not settle – you may discover that the issues are clearer as a result.

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Do I have to go to mediation?

No – the mediation process is totally voluntary. However, if the dispute is or will be subject to future court proceedings, be aware that the Court may award costs against you if you refused an offer to mediate earlier in the proceedings.

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Isn’t offering to mediate a sign of weakness?

Not at all – even if you are convinced that you have a strong case, it is worth trying mediation to save time and legal fees. Even if you have a strong case, you cannot be 100% certain that the Court will find in your favour.

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How long does it take to set up a mediation?

As soon as both parties agree to mediate and agree to use ACM, a date can be set usually within 1 working day and the mediation will take place typically within 2-4 weeks.

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Do I need to prepare?

The mediator will make contact with you by telephone and ask you to send copies of any relevant documentation through which you might like to use during the mediation. The mediator will also ask you to think about the key issues in the dispute and what you would like to get out of the mediation.

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"The process was facilitated well, asking challenging questions that helped us explore the conflict in a different way."


"I have worked with Dennis for over twenty years and highly commend him as one of those rare individuals who has the practical experience and skills drawn from different perspectives of his work. Whether as legal adviser, manager or entrepreneur, his judgment is exemplary."

Jonathan Caplan QC

"Dealt with the authority problems really well."