Skip Navigation

FAQ'S

 

 

This website is designed to allow you to select and appoint a mediator from the directory of mediators.

The process is straightforward and it is hoped that most mediators will be chosen and appointed in this way by agreement between you and the other parties to the dispute.

There may be a small number of cases in which the Dispute Resolution Service may assist in making the appointment. This may happen where the parties cannot agree with each other on who should mediate, or where one of them has no legal representative or is not confident about mediation generally.

Where assistance is required to appoint a mediator, please refer to the section below entitled What happens if we fail to agree a mediator?.

QUESTION 1 - HOW DO I SELECT A MEDIATOR?

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

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 he 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.
  • If the mediator agrees to accept the case, he will write to the parties to confirm his appointment and to outline the fees which he will charge for the mediation. This will give you an opportunity to decide whether to go ahead 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. He may also ask both parties for details about the dispute in advance of the mediation.

QUESTION 2 - WHERE DOES A MEDIATION TAKE PLACE?

  • Mediation does not take place in a court building but in a neutral location which the mediator will agree with the parties to suit everyone.
  • This can be anywhere in Northern Ireland where there are facilities with separate rooms for each of the parties and for the mediator and for refreshments.
  • Most mediations are completed within a day. You may bring your legal adviser or a friend with you to the mediation – this should be mentioned to the mediator in advance to ensure that each party is aware of it and has a chance of doing likewise.

QUESTION 3 - HOW MUCH DOES A MEDIATION COST?

  • If you and the other party select a mediator from the website directory who agrees to act in the case, the mediator will write to you to indicate the fee which will be charged for the mediation.
  • If a mediator is appointed by the Dispute Resolution Service where the parties have failed to agree a mediator (see below) the fees will be in accordance with the scale which you can view by clicking here.

QUESTION 4 - WHAT HAPPENS IF WE FAIL TO AGREE A MEDIATOR?

 

  • In the unlikely event that a mediator cannot be agreed with the other party, the matter may be referred to the Dispute Resolution Service to appoint a mediator.
  • Send contact details about yourself and the other party to Ms Ann McMahon, assistant secretary, Law Society House, 96 Victoria Street, Belfast BT1 3GN. You may email this information to: ann.mcmahon@lawsoc-ni.org
  • Do not include any papers about the dispute as these are not required to select and appoint a mediator.
  • Ms McMahon will contact both parties, usually by phone to speed matters up, to discuss selecting and appointing a mediator.
  • If a mediator is agreed and accepts the appointment, the matter will be passed to that person to make all the arrangements for the mediation. The mediator selected will be one of those who is on the website directory.
  • A fee is not charged for this appointment process.