There are many factors to consider when choosing who the right mediator will be to work on your dispute. Some are intrinsic, such as the correct qualifications and certifications, but some are a little more subtle, and how will they impact your decision?
Mediation is, on the whole, a relatively new profession. That is not to say that people haven’t been involved in some aspects of mediation or negotiation since time began, but there is no actual statutory regulation within the industry, instead is it self-regulating. Membership of the Civil Mediation Council is voluntary, but ensuring your mediator is CMC Registered, will give you peace of mind that they have et their exacting standards for membership, undertake ongoing CPD and Training, and all members are bound by the European Code of Conduct for Mediators.
Experience in mediation is something to consider, but its importance ties in with the next point, a mediators background. But generally speaking, the more we practice something, the better we are at doing it! Naturally then a more experienced mediator, who has seen a larger volume of similar cases before may be more likely to help resolve the issues. Equally however, a more inexperienced mediator (in terms of volume of mediations, or in a specialist field) may come to a problem with fresh eyes and a different perspective that can help parties come to a more creative solution.
As previously mentioned, mediation is a relatively new profession and people become mediators from a wide variety of backgrounds, often later in their careers. It is to be considered equally important to consider someones experience in mediation as it is from their career. Someone with considerable experience in contract negations and disputes from a commercial perspective could be more likely to help parties come to a resolution as opposed to someone who was a generalist solicitor who has more actual mediations under their belt.
Yes, mediation will cost you far less than alternative forms of dispute resolution, such as going to court, but there is still a cost to consider when choosing the right mediator. Depending on the complexity of the issues in question, will depend on how long a mediation will take, as will the number of parties involved etc. The longer the time, the greater the cost. Experience will also play a factor, a more experienced mediator will likely charge more for the mediation.