Due to Covid-19, can parties mediate by telephone?

· During the Covid-19 pandemic, it should be considered how businesses can collect aged debts or de-risk by settling disputes.
· Mediation could be used to address your urgent needs, as a flexible process that can be organised and take place within days and deliver a fast result if settlement is reached.
· It is possible that parties can mediate by telephone instead of normal “in person mediations”.
· Prior to Covid-19, telephone mediation has been used for pre-mediation calls or if settlement is not agreed on mediation day.
· A telephone mediation would work in a similar way to an “in person mediation”.
· The first step will be coming to an agreement between all parties about which mediator they want to mediate and that this mediation will be by telephone. A date and time period will then be agreed.
· Once the mediator has been appointed, they will begin case management, which will follow the form of a normal mediation.
· The mediators quick “knock-on-the-door” is likely to be replaced by a very short update call or an email to say a party is still thinking or talking.
· The telephone mediation can then continue until settlement is reached, or, if there is an agreement to extend, when the agreed time period expires.
· If a deal is reached, party representatives will then draft the appropriate settlement documentation, using email or telephone.
· We can act as the Solicitor attending the mediation with the client via joint telephone call or video call, depending on what is agreed.

If you have any questions, please contact Geoff Mendelsohn.

 

Disclaimer:
This article is prepared with the intention of providing general information on the changes in law. Philip Ross Solicitors accept no responsibility for errors it may contain and the coverage of the topic is not comprehensive. You are advised to speak directly to the writer or another partner within this firm within any specific enquiries on the topic addressed.

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Geoff specialises in commercial and IT litigation. Admitted as a solicitor in 1987, Geoff has worked as a partner in both leading UK and US law firms.