Areas of Dispute
Our mediators deal with all types of dispute. Here are some examples but if none meet your needs please contact us.
CONSTRUCTION AND CIVIL ENGINEERING
Over the years the construction industry has built a reputation of parties in conflict. In recent times the industry and the courts have made great strides into removing conflict with a more open approach to the procurement and delivery of construction and civil engineering projects. Unfortunately there are still matters where the parties have different viewpoints that need to be resolved.
Disputes over variations and their effect on cost and extensions of time during a contract as well as quality of workmanship and non-completion disputes at the end of a contract, are all capable of resolution by mediation.
Many of NDR’s accredited mediators have worked in the construction and civil engineering industry for many years and appreciate the need to quickly reach speedy and acceptable solutions to problems as they arise. Mediations and other forms of alternative dispute resolution provided by NDR panel mediators are essential to the resolution of points of conflict both during and after the construction project.
PROPERTY AND DEVELOPMENT
NDR mediators are experienced in the matters relating to land, property, planning and development.
Whether the dispute is over boundaries, rights of way, or restrictive covenants there is an experienced NDR mediator available.
Landlord and tenant disputes such as lease renewals, rent reviews, service charges, nuisance, breach of covenant, dilapidations, rent arrears or indeed any matter that impact on good landlord and tenant relations, are regularly referred to the NDR panel mediators to facilitate their resolution.
Development issues such as joint venture agreements, development agreements, sale and options, development and financial appraisals, shareholding disputes, claw-back and apportionment of super profits, or financial matters are regularly referred to the NDR mediators.
The planning sector is also well represented with expertise in the formation of Local Plans, Neighbourhood Plans, master plans, planning objections, planning appeals, planning conditions, the negotiation of planning agreements objections, planning contributions, Community Infrastructure Levy, the procedures of the National Planning Policy Framework, even a Neighbourhood Plan Independent Examiner. There is also expertise in the drafting and formulation of Compulsory Purchase Orders and the settlement of compensation.
EMPLOYMENT AND WORKPLACE
The wide range of workplace and employment disputes, covering everything from arguments over performance, management and supervision of staff, amounts of holiday pay and deductions from wages through to claims of discrimination and unfair dismissal can be costly and time consuming for all parties and are often highly personalised and disruptive.
NDR has specialised mediators who are able to help parties bring such disputes to a satisfactory conclusion and have helped establish creative and long lasting solutions to disputes involving current and former employees and colleagues / employers
Our experience covers the whole range of internal grievances and working practice disputes, discrimination claims on the ground of race, nationality, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation and gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity; unfair dismissal; Trade Union issues and collective disputes. We have worked with parties before, during and after proceedings in the Employment Tribunal to resolve disputes and have conducted expert determinations in cases relating to TUPE and the requirement to make reasonable adjustments in disability claims.
We live in a world in which the internet and modern air travel have made access to anything and everything instant. But bulk carriage of goods and passengers still relies very heavily on the sea and the ships which travel 24 hours a day for weeks on end to ’deliver the goods’.
But problems can arise, in the design, construction, loading and unloading, route choices and all too often the weather can bring untold problems.
NDR has as one of its mediators a lawyer who for 15 years was the lead legal adviser to British Shipbuilders, in its close down phase. As a litigator, he worked worldwide in resolving disputes and now has developed the skills of using video conferencing for shipping mediations. The parties and their advisers can stay in the home countries avoiding the costly travel and hotel expenses of flying half way round the world when modern IT allows the process to be run in the same way as normal. Video conferencing is face to face mediation. Try it NOW
CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE AND MEDICAL ISSUES
The media reports on matters of concern to hospital patients and their families every day of the week. Some are highly technical issues at the far end of modern technical competence and some are nothing more than forgetfulness and lack of awareness and compassion.
NDR mediators have many years’ experience in most aspects of clinical negligence and general medical complaints. The norm for medical claims has been litigation, and if an aggrieved party wants publicity, then the court may be the right place to fight it out. But Mediation is private and confidential, is quick, relatively cheap and can produce outcomes which are beyond the power of a judge in any court. How often has a judge in court heard any party say’ Sorry and we apologise for all the hurt that this has caused’? NDR mediators have heard that said virtually every time they have mediated a dispute in the health sector. Clinical negligence and health mediation – TRY IT NOW.
Despite everyone’s best intentions, many marriages and partnerships end in breakup. How the parties handle this traumatic event varies and experience shows that for many it is acrimonious and hurtful- for couples and their children. Recourse to the courts frequently contributes to this as sides or positions are taken by those involved, including legal representatives, and at least one party comes away feeling that they haven’t been listened to by the judge.
Courts now recognise that the best way for many people is through Mediation, especially where children are involved. NDR has a family mediator who is trained to deal sensitively and firmly with family breakup and will ensure that each party is listened to, including children, and that this is conducted in a safe environment. The mediator will help draw up an Open Statement of Financial Information and a Memorandum of Understanding, reflecting interests and decisions. These are used by each party’s solicitor and the courts to finalise matters.
Please note that at this stage of relationships, Mediation is not about saving the marriage or partnership; this is never ruled out if parties wish to do so, and it is then mediated separately.
There are hundreds of thousands of personal injury accident claims made every year. The TV adverts make it clear that, unfortunately, they are commonplace. Most claims are settled through negotiation, by lawyers and claims handlers – but, some are not. Some prove to be difficult for one reason or another and head towards court. This is where mediation comes in. If you have a claim which has been going on for a long time, ask your adviser about mediation. If you act for a client who is involved in a difficult or multi party personal injury claim come and talk to us about how we use mediation in this area. Mostly you can start a mediation in the morning and go back to your office later that day with a Tomlin order confirming the terms of settlement.
GENERAL COMMERCIAL DISPUTES
Commercial disputes can arise in any business situation, whether to do with vast mining activities in Mongolia, or a careless trainee in the corner hairdresser’s shop down the street.
Disputes can be resolved by negotiation before lawyers are involved or by litigation, arbitration or mediation. The Courts and Arbitrators will ultimately give an answer but can often involve a lot of expense. If negotiation fails, then the cheapest, quickest and potentially the best method of achieving a good commercial outcome is by mediation – whether you mediate before or after court or arbitration proceedings are started.
In a mediation of your commercial dispute, as in any other mediation, you (and your adviser if you have one) remain in control of the problem and the outcome – there is no judge or arbitrator to impose an answer. You, after all, are the person who knows what will and will not work for you and your business, your employees and your family.
No matter how much money or how little money is involved, if the issue matters to you, stay in control and go to mediation NOW.
WILLS AND INHERITANCE DISPUTES
Money matters are tricky. Family matters can be horrendously difficult. Put the two together and you have double trouble. Hardly a week goes by without some “family at war” story being reported after a loved one has passed away. The courts can provide answers to these disputes, but they are not much good at helping with the broken relationships and they are practically useless at nipping a family problem in the bud.
This type of dispute is just made for mediation. Work with an experienced mediator and people who could end up facing each other across a court room floor usually find that they can get to an outcome that everyone can live with. There are usually no winners when these cases go to court so why not call NDR to enquire about mediation or ask your adviser to do so?
People rely on professionals and trust them. When things go wrong, and someone feels that their trust has been betrayed, feelings run high. The law can, after a lengthy procedure, make a finding about whether the wrong outcome is in fact the result of negligence. The fact that you know you have been let down does not automatically mean that you are going to win. Also, the fact that a court makes a finding of negligence does not mean it will agree that all or even most of your losses should be paid as damages. Here’s another thing: from the professional’s point of view a trial in a public court is never an attractive proposition.
Mediation provides a common sense approach to claims of this nature. An experienced, independent mediator can put hard questions to the people on both sides of the argument and work with them and their advisers to get a business-like result that eliminates the risk that everyone would face in a court. There is also an added bonus: getting a result more quickly than the court system could provide one at much less expense.
When business partnerships break up, when there are dark clouds in the board-room or a shareholder feels badly done to there is usually one result. Everyone goes for their lawyers, the “aggro” escalates and there are going to be lots of cheques stubs or bank transfers marked “legal costs”. Not only is your share of the business ( be it a two man plumbers’ partnership or a sizeable limited company) at stake but there is the risk of the court ordering you to pay the other side’s legal costs too.
A skilled, experienced mediator can cut through the heat, shed some light, and work with you to analyse the issues and the risks. When that is done, and there is some clarity about the legal, accountancy and taxation issues taking into account everyone’s perspective you can work with the mediator to do what business people do best – negotiate a deal. “See you in court” can be financial suicide. A mediation today often means you can start your new business life tomorrow.
The Third Sector
In the third sector (social enterprise, religious organisations, charities, volunteer and not for profit organisations), there is often a reluctance to recognise conflict until it reaches destructive potential. Many conflicts in this sector are about relationships, values – including prejudices and equalities issues – and working practices as well as or instead of purely commercial or material matters. In these cases, litigation can cause severe damage to the organisation and fail to resolve the issue. Mediation and early intervention in these cases can not only resolve the issues but also create a better working relationship or at least a less damaging parting of the ways.
Education and the third sector disputes and disagreements, particularly where volunteers, parents and carers are involved, need mediators who understand the sector. The NDR mediators who specialise in this sector have a background working in this field and understand the culture, language and values. Some were at the forefront of, and pioneered, Disability and other Equalities Mediation services. They are accustomed to dealing with unrepresented parties and working directly with participants who are unfamiliar with the mediation process.
This sector also includes working with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. Several of the NDR mediators are accredited (College of Mediators & CMC SEND Register) and have extensive SEND mediation experience.
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