Mediation is a voluntary process and it cannot happen unless each party is willing to make a genuine attempt to resolve their dispute by mediation.

Contact the Other Party

First, contact the other party to the dispute and ask if they will agree in principle to try mediation as a method of resolving the dispute. This is essential and should be able to be done quickly.

Many contracts now provide that if the parties have a dispute that they agree to use mediation.

Select a Mediator

If the other party agrees in principle to try mediation, select one of the mediators from the Directory of Mediators.

Each mediator has a profile page which lets you know what type of mediation they carry out. You should choose a mediator who is experienced in the type of dispute that is relevant to you.

Tell the other party of your proposed choice of mediator and allow them time to consider the suggested mediator.

The other party may accept your choice or propose an alternative and when a particular mediator is agreed in principle, the proposed mediator can be contacted. The mediator’s contact details, including email address are on their profile page.

Referring the case to the Mediator

Send brief details about the type of case and the parties involved to the mediator.

Allow the mediator time to consider whether they will accept the case. The mediator may have acted for one of the parties in the past or may not be available at an early date.

The mediator will inform you within 21 days whether they are willing and able to deal with the dispute.

Mediator accepts the case

If the mediator agrees to accept the case, they will write to the parties to confirm their appointment and to outline the fees which they will charge for the mediation.

This will give you an opportunity to decide whether to go ahead with the mediation.

They will request that each party will provide to the mediator, within a reasonable period (usually 14 days in advance of the date of the mediation), all necessary documents and arguments which are relevant for the mediation.

What constitutes a reasonable period will depend upon the size and complexity of the dispute however the mediator will endeavour to ensure that the mediation is completed within 90 days of the receipt by the mediator of all the relevant documents, or if longer is required by the mediator then within the time periods set out.

Once the mediator has all necessary documents and information, they will confirm to the parties that they now have all the relevant documents and are in a position to proceed.

Proceed with the Mediation

If the mediation proceeds, the mediator will make all the arrangements with you as to where and when the mediation will take place. They may also ask both parties for details about the dispute in advance of the mediation. You may bring your legal advisor or friend with you to the mediation, but you are not obliged to do so.

Mediators with LSMS are willing to accept both domestic and cross-border disputes. Some disputes can be resolved using the EC Online Dispute Resolution platform.

If the mediator has a conflict of interest and can no longer act in the mediation, this will be notified to the parties by the mediator who will also notify the LSMS, if necessary requesting that another mediator is appointed.

An appointment of a new mediator is dealt with in the same way as appointment of the original mediator laid out above.

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