Mediation or Arbitration: What’s best for me?12 Apr 2022 | Lisa Pepper
Few divorcing couples want to end up in court, which is why mediation and arbitration are faster and more effective alternatives for resolving financial and other matters.
Our specialist divorce lawyers know only too well the financial and emotional costs to clients of having to go to court. We have experienced mediators in our team – and a qualified arbitrator – each skilled in assisting couples as they commence non-adversarial ways to resolve outstanding issues.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a process where the mediator (a neutral third party) helps the parties identify the issues in dispute, explore how they might be resolved and, crucially, help them arrive at a mutual agreement.
The mediator effectively facilitates an environment in which the couple can comfortably discuss out key issues relating to the finances and any children in order to arrive at an agreement. Both parties need separate legal representation, and those solicitors will draft a Financial Remedy Order if a financial settlement on divorce is achieved.
How an agreement on child arrangements is to be recorded will be discussed with you.
There’s no obligation to continue with the process if, for instance, the environment becomes acrimonious – either party can withdraw from the mediation process at any time.
It’s worth bearing in mind that before you make any application to court for proceedings relating to children or for financial remedies, you must attend a mediation information assessment meeting (MIAM).
The purpose is to help you determine if there are alternative ways to resolve the issues outside of court, so the MIAM is always a good introduction to what mediation is about.
What is arbitration?
Arbitration is more formal than mediation. It can be an effective option when you cannot reach an agreement on key issues, but you’re keen to avoid expensive and time-consuming court action.
The parties agree to the appointment of an independent arbitrator who will hear the dispute in private and make a final decision (the award).
A key benefit of arbitration is that it can be concluded in a matter of days or weeks, compared to litigation which can take years. Importantly, an arbitral award can be enforced both in the UK and abroad if that becomes necessary.
The process is also more flexible than litigation, with the parties able to have a say in choosing the arbitrator and the procedures which could be adopted.
What’s the difference between mediation and arbitration?
Arbitration is a more formal process than mediation and will involve an Arbitrator’s fee, as well as the lawyer’s fees, for representing you and preparing your case, but it is still cheaper than going to court.
A key difference between the two is that the outcome of mediation is not binding on the parties, whereas the decision of an arbitrator is.
There’s also no guarantee that mediation will lead to an agreement, so if you are after a level of certainty about the outcome – perhaps within a relatively short timeframe – we may advise you to consider going down the arbitration route.
Will mediation or arbitration be best for me?
This depends on your individual circumstances. For couples already embroiled in conflict or where the parties’ positions are so opposed that mediation is unsuitable – arbitration could be the most effective way forward.
Our specialist divorce lawyers, which includes expert family mediators, will consider your situation and advise you on the most suitable forum to help you resolve the issues in a quick and cost-effective way.
Contact our leading divorce lawyer Lisa Pepper for more information on mediation and arbitration, or complete an online enquiry form.
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Lisa Pepper Partner
David Leadercramer maintains a strong reputation as a highly effective mediator. He is also a seasoned litigator and arbitrator whose caseload covers FDR hearings and child arrangement issues. He has additional experience in nuptial agreements and fertility-related disputes.
Lisa Pepper is particularly recognised for her role as a mediator in complex cross-border disputes. Her practice also includes handling prenuptial agreements and issues arising from divorces. She is additionally skilled in Schedule 1 and other child arrangement matters.
"She's an extremely supportive and kind lawyer. She has an increasing mediation profile too. I can't think of anyone who would handle a mediation better than Lisa."
"They are a cost-effective alternative to Central London firms."
"The team has a good range of personalities and approaches, meaning that they should be able to find the right lawyer for any particular client/couple."
"They are experienced and competent and have a long tradition and a good reputation. I only deal with them as a mediators."
"Osbornes ‘has a strong ethos for being conciliatory (rather than aggressive) with fair/ethical billing practices and strong ADR principles."
"Osbornes has a hugely experienced mediation team with Andrew Watson, Bridget Thompson and Lisa Pepper who are able to offer financial and children mediation for a range of cases including those that are highly complex involving challenging clients."
They have the experience, lawyers and mediators to be able to advise on a wide range of family matters at the highest level.
I can’t think of anyone who would handle a mediation better than Lisa.
She’s an extremely supportive and kind lawyer and has an increasing mediation profile too
The Osbornes mediation team is excellent and has some good individuals.
David Leadercramer has experienced it all and uses this experience to help guide clients towards the best outcome.
Osbornes has a strong mediation team led by Lisa Pepper. Lisa is a very experienced mediator who often places clients at ease and allows them to discuss very difficult topics. She is empathetic but knows when to be more directive if the clients require.
David Leadercramer is excellent.
Lisa Pepper is one of our go-to mediators. She provides a practical service, supporting clients to conclusion.
Lisa Pepper’s mediation practice is absolutely brilliant. Real value delivered with expert knowledge. Lisa is a first rate mediator.
Lisa Pepper is one of my go to mediators. Her calm, collected attitude and friendly persona allow clients to trust her and open up to her. Excellent service and top level advice.
Lisa Pepper – very down to earth and approachable.
Lisa Pepper is a talented lawyer and we regularly refer to her for mediation
"She is a phenomenal mediator. She is full of insight and is very creative in her solutions."
"She has a substantial amount of empathy which she brings to any mediation and she works extremely hard to gain the trust of people. She fully understands how complex financial disputes work and is well versed in dealing with individuals of high net worth."
"Lisa Pepper is an outstanding mediator. She is very skilled and has an empathetic and professional approach which is comforting for clients. She never imposes her own view but is even handed and provides helpful guidance to clients so that they can make empowered decisions"
"Lisa Pepper has built up a very impressive mediation practice. She is very engaging and easy to relate to. She embodies mediation in the sense that she approaches her case in a very non-judgmental fashion and can quickly gain the confidence of those with whom she is mediating"
"Lisa Pepper is a brilliant mediator who produces results. She is effective at resolving matters without the need for the parties to engage in expensive and protracted litigation"
"Lisa Pepper is a fantastic mediator. She is fair, robust when she needs to be, and finds a way of facilitating agreements in the hardest of cases. Her guidance is spot on. She has an approachable and constructive mediation style"
Lisa Pepper is extremely approachable and this shines through in the outcomes she achieves from mediation. She makes clients feel at ease, which enables them to feel empowered to resolve matters amicably and find a creative outcome which many mediators may have overlooked.
Lisa Pepper is building a very strong mediation practice at very competitive rates and is able to build a rapport quickly with almost anyone.
Lisa Pepper loves her work and has a very sensible head on her. That means her practice is thriving and rightly so.
Lisa Pepper is very thorough in her preparation and has super personal skills to put parties in mediation at ease
Lisa Pepper – good litigator, very friendly and approachable but tough, “straight bat” with the opposition. Can steer a client deftly to settle when he should.
Osbornes is known for combining strong legal expertise with a commitment to resolving family matters amicably. This instils a huge amount of trust in any lawyer referring their clients to this mediation team. The team is particularly good at dealing with financial matters.
Lisa Pepper is particularly recognised for her role as a mediator in complex cross-border disputes. Her practice also includes handling prenuptial agreements and issues arising from the dissolution of civil partnerships.
"Lisa can handle the large and complicated cases but takes equal care with the smaller cases. She is a highly skilled mediator who is a consummate professional."
Lisa Pepper is a skilled collaborative lawyer. Her instinct is always to resolve matters without compromising her clients’ interests.
Highly regarded for his experience as a litigation and mediation expertise, Mark Freedman is tenacious and determined. Clients really feel that he is fighting their corner.
Lisa Pepper is a noted collaborative lawyer, and recently acted successfully on a client's leave to remove application to Australia.
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