24 WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM | FEB 2022 COMPULSORY MEDIATION: IS THERE AN UPSIDE? There are two ways in which mediation of a dispute can be made compulsory. The first is a matter of contract, in which the parties include in their dispute resolution clause a multi-step process which obliges them to go to mediation as a precondition to commencing litigation or arbitration. The second is legislation requiring all or certain cases to go to mediation before or at an early stage of litigation. Advantages of compulsory mediation There are several advantages of mediation but one of its key features is that, if successful, the parties will have found a mutually acceptable solution to a dispute rather than going through a lengthy and usually costly and combative process to obtain a decision from a judge or tribunal. In mediation, the parties control the process and may be able to reach more tailored solutions than those that would be ordered by a court: for example, agreeing that a payment by one party under the current dispute will be offset by increased future orders. Mediation facilitates direct communication between the parties, Compulsory Mediation Is There anUpside? Deborah Ruff Charles Goslong Julia Belcher and Charlotte Stewart-Jones Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman Tower 42, Level 21, 25 Old Broad Street, London, EC2N 1HQ UK Tel: +44 20 7847 9528 E: email@example.com www.pillsburylaw.com In our December 2021 edition, we heard from Fieldfisher partner Ann Benzimra on proposals regarding compulsory mediation in civil lawsuits. This month we hear more perspectives on the topic from Pillsbury partners Deborah Ruff, Charles Goslong, Julia Belcher and associate Charlotte Stewart-Jones. What are the pros of the idea, and is there any way they can outweigh the cons?