Mediation Blog: Commercial and Civil Mediation

Monday 29 January 2024

Blog by Dr Mary Malecka and Abigail Holt of the Garden Court Mediation Team.

Share This Page

Email This Page

The value of mediation to commercial and civil disputes is that it enables parties to reframe their dispute in a holistic fashion that takes into account the cost of litigation. This includes the personal emotional investment, and the prospect of successfully moving on from the dispute, whilst keeping ongoing relationships intact.

Garden Court Mediators are experts at speedily getting to grips with vast quantities of documents and facts. It is innate to our professional practice that we are able to assimilate huge volumes of information rapidly. From that, we know the key questions to ask and how to ask them.

Mediation v Litigation

Walking through the door of court makes any litigant a hostage to fortune; in contrast, mediation enables the parties to maintain control of the dispute’s outcome. You, the participant, can better manage the conversation and consequences (generally limited to monetary compensation only). You decide if, and how, you want to compromise your case (having recognised that conciliation and agreement is preferable to remaining in dispute).

The Garden Court Mediator creatively builds bridges which enables participants to retreat from painful and damaging conflict, and to do so in a timely way. When required, the Garden Court Mediator acts as a buffer to generating space for rational appraisal when a participant feels under fire, or detects that there is a power imbalance.

Smart litigants, or potential litigants, will use mediation at the beginning of a dispute to nip energy-sapping potential litigation in the bud.  They recognise that, although a civil and commercial matter is expressed in pounds and pence, there is always a high personal cost to litigating. That cost is borne by the lost time and energy of the individuals concerned, as well as by the administrative burden on the business or enterprise itself. Mediation is far more adept at dealing with those dimensions of dispute resolution than the court services.

It is said that “Business is not about who you know, but who you don’t know.” As in, the rest of life, in business, relationships are sacrosanct. The mediation process is predicated on preserving and indeed enhancing business relationships by maintaining respect and trust, which is key to all successful commercial activity. This is in contrast to the “winner takes all” mentality of court processes which breeds bitter resentment. Mediation, with the help of a Garden Court Mediator, is far more suited to the fair and respectful resolution of civil and commercial disputes, than the blunt instrument of civil litigation.

About Garden Court Mediation

Garden Court is nationally recognised and awarded for being a leading Chambers in diversity. Garden Court members take on multiple additional roles connected to their key barrister responsibilities. As a result, the Garden Court Mediation (GCM) Team have diverse professional and life experiences. This includes board directorships, charities, housing specialists, part-time judges, academics, mental health specialists, and probate experience. Members often have complex family relationships and working knowledge of running family businesses. They also include personal injury and clinical negligence specialists with deep knowledge of medical practice. Our team members have diverse life histories with varying cultural backgrounds.

You can be confident that your Garden Court Mediator will robustly investigate every avenue. This will create an environment where a solution to a damaging conflict can naturally evolve. The GCM Team are well able to mediate disputes where potential litigants do not have the resources to instruct lawyers. Our mediators are able to maintain a level playing field when applying their expertise, as they frequently deal with litigants-in-person in different contexts.

Garden Court Chambers has beautiful rooms overlooking the gardens of Lincolns Inn Fields. In-person mediations can take place in a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. However, the majority of mediation clients choose to have their mediation take place using Zoom. Garden Court Mediators are highly experienced and adept at using technology, thus saving participants’ travel and accommodation costs.

Commercial and Civil Mediation – What we mediate

Garden Court Mediators have experience in mediating every type of dispute, be they low or high monetary value, or relational disputes in commercial and civil contexts:

  • Personal injury and clinical negligence
  • Partnership
  • Board directors
  • Commercial and business
  • Contract and consumer
  • Inheritance, wills and probate
  • Family business
  • Family relationships
  • Art and music
  • Sport
  • Entertainment and media
  • Neighbours
  • Property boundaries
  • Public sector
  • Housing
  • Licensing
  • Cross-border disputes
  • Professional regulatory and discipline
  • Copyright
  • Defamation
  • Insurance and reinsurance
  • Shareholders

Related News

Related Areas of Law

We are top ranked by independent legal directories and consistently win awards.

+ View more awards