Frequently Asked Questions

What happens in mediation?

When you contact us we arrange an initial conversation so we can see the key issues and what you want as the outcome.  We will then arrange a mediation session with you.

This can be done in different ways:

- Your mediator spends time with each person individually, in a separate area, and moves between each party.  Everyone then meets together to talk through what can be agreed.

- Everyone sits together with your mediator, and each person has their say.  The key issues are then discussed and options for an agreement talked through.

- We often combine these two ways of mediating.

There are breaks whenever people want them.  There are also ground rules, such as listening to each other respectfully and without interrupting, and holding what's said at the session confidentially.  People often express strong emotions - it's important that happens.  Your mediator's job is to make sure everyone is safe and feels safe, however strong the emotions are.

Your mediator will not advise you or tell you what to do.  You have control over what happens and you choose what you want to agree.  Your mediator will help you to look at options and to get through the difficult moments that can get in the way of moving forward.

Once you reach an agreement, your mediator will prepare this as a statement for you both to sign.  This agreement is not legally binding on you and it's not shared with anyone else, unless you both want to share it and agree to that.

Is mediation legally binding?

What's said in mediation is legally privileged and without prejudice: what is said cannot be used outside the mediation even in a court or at a tribunal.  In this way mediation provides a safe forum where you can discuss issues and possible ways forward without fear of your discussions being used against you in legal proceedings at some future date.

For that reason, decisions made in mediation are not legally binding unless both you and the other party want and agree to make them binding.

If that happens, the decisions you both come to in mediation will form a clear, thorough, detailed blueprint for any legal arrangement you go on to make.  This saves a great deal of time, misunderstanding, cost and stress.

Who can use mediation?

Mediation can help resolve disputes of every kind: between friends or family, problems in the work place, within or between businesses, complaints about a service, or for separating couples as they make decisions about the care of their children and their financial assets.

In all these contexts, mediation has a very high success rate - over 80%.

Do I need legal advice?

We always encourage people involved in mediation to get advice on their legal position.  Mediators have to remain impartial for the process to work so we will not give you legal advice.

It is always important to be clear on your rights. At mediation we focus on what is right for you and for those affected by your decisions. The aim of mediation is to put people back in control of their own lives so that they find solutions that are fair, and feel fair, to all the parties involved.  That way the agreements you reach will be realistic and lasting.

Are mediators qualified?

It's important you check the qualifications and experience of your mediator.

Make sure your mediator has professional qualifications in mediation, is a member of one or more nationally recognised mediation bodies, abides by professional ethics and codes of practice, has professional indemnity insurance, is committed to improving their practice with regular supervision, and keeps up to date through ongoing development training.  

All the mediators with Olive Mediation Group comply in full with these assurances so that you can know we provide a service of the highest quality.

Is it confidential?

Mediation is a strictly confidential process. We will not give information to anybody (including your legal adviser or the person who's commissioned the mediation) without first obtaining your permission and the permission of all the parties involved in your mediation.

We would only need to break confidentiality if we're told that anyone is at risk of being injured or abused, or where we are required to make disclosure under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and/or the relevant money laundering regulations.  

How long does mediation take?

Arguments over a specific issue can often be resolved in one meeting over a day or half a day. Other disputes, particularly ongoing issues such as care of children or property and financial issues between separating couples, tend to take several shorter meetings over a period of time.

Is it cost effective?

Mediation saves time, money and stress by reducing misunderstanding and improving communication. It produces a mutually agreed way forward, which reduces the need for matters to be decided through solicitors and the court.

Olive Mediation Group aims to provide the highest quality mediation at an affordable price. We do this by keeping unnecessary overheads to a minimum, and by our commitment to the service we are providing for our clients.

Our charges are based on the time we spend with you.  All time spent in preparation for mediation, plus the writing of emails, outcome statements or points of agreement are included in the face-to-face time cost. The only exception to this is the writing of a Memorandum of Understanding, Open Financial Statement or certain forms required by the courts (if needed), for which we make an additional charge. Other than this, you will not be charged extra for work done outside your mediation meeting.

Please contact us for our scale of charges.  

Is mediation the right option for me?

Mediation can help resolve most disputes. You can talk through with us in advance any concerns you may have about your situation or the process, and we will be happy to help you come to a decision.

All discussions are confidential, within the limitation outlined above. After meeting with each party separately, your mediator will let you know how mediation is likely to help in your situation.

Even where mediation is not appropriate, a meeting with a mediator can give you the space to help you think through more clearly what your next steps could be and can provide useful information on other sources of help and advice.

On occasions mediation doesn't lead to agreement; even in these circumstances we've found that the parties benefit from having talked the issues through and have moved forward. Thanks to the flexibility of mediation, it's always possible to return at a later time.