Is online dispute resolution the best course for mediation due to the coronavirus restricting travel?

The new normal: effective dispute resolution in the Covid-19 landscape

The world in which we work and live has changed. How long will that change last – is it temporary or permanent?

We don’t yet know for sure, though we know that the impact of the pandemic will not be resolved any time soon. We also know that we now live in turbulent times, and rather than waves of turbulence hitting different sectors and locations at different times –  everything has been hit at the same time.

Consequently, disruption that will be faced in the coming months which will have a wide impact on existing business relationships, contractual arrangements, the ability to meet obligations of all descriptions, and pressure on business owners and those running businesses.

There are predictions of a large increase in disputes, and increased risk of potential business failures. How these times are navigated is of importance to all of us. Already the Cabinet Office has issued guidance:

“The Government is strongly encouraging all individuals, businesses (including funders) and public authorities to act responsibly and fairly in the national interest in performing and enforcing their contracts, to support the response to Covid-19 and to protect jobs and the economy.”

Former Presidents of the Supreme Court, lawyers Lords Neuberger and Phillips have called for there to be a greater role in mediation and conciliation as an alternative parties pursuing cases in Court. Certainly, the need for solutions will require fast and effective action.

The Hexagon approach to disputes

So, in these unprecedented times what can Hexagon Mediation offer to assist?

We see it as our duty to provide accessible dispute resolution services:

  • We can supply a choice of mediators for disputes: all very experienced, and all business people, who can deal with civil, commercial and workplace disputes of all shapes and sizes.
  • Our approach to mediation is flexible. We appreciate that some disputes don’t always need a full day, and some disputes may be better dealt with over a period of time.
  • Once quoted, our rates are fixed for a mediation – there are no hidden extras – and we are very competitive compared to other mediators.
  • We can provide mediation services online, by telephone or face to face (when such meetings are again permitted). Several of our mediators were amongst the first to be trained and practice online in the UK and have been mediating this way for some time.
  • While we are most commonly instructed by solicitors to act as mediators, we do accept direct appointment from businesses, which can be beneficial if there is cost pressure.
  • Our mediators adopt an unstuffy and practical approach.

So, please contact us for further details – we would be delighted to assist.

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