Complex matters can often be resolved by court annexed mediation

18-July-2015 Commercial Disputes

Court annexed mediation, (rather than private mediation or a trial) can be used to successfully address and resolve a great variety of adversarial disputes,
including complex matters.

When two parties have intractable differences, with conflicting views about the facts and history of the matter and differing viewpoints about how the
law might apply to those circumstances, it may be necessary to get a mediator or judge involved to facilitate a resolution.

In the past, it was generally thought that a Registrar (appointed by the Court) was not as good at facilitating a dispute as a private mediator, who specialises
in the area. But Streeterlaw’s experienced conflict resolution team believes court annexed mediation can bring about very satisfactory results for
its clients.

“For clients who do not wish to incur the expenses of a private mediation, we have seen that court annexed mediation can provide very reasonable outcomes,”
said Streeterlaw solicitor Ben Beukes.

“Recent experience, in relation to both Federal and Supreme Court matters, involving longstanding and entrenched differences about complex issues, has
confirmed for us that a great many legal matters are capable of resolution at court annexed mediation and that parties should not be quick to dismiss
the idea of using that avenue as an option for alternate dispute resolution.”

To apply to have your matter heard by a court annexed mediator, each party must provide:

  • a written statement of the underlying issues or the agendas of each party (whether express or implied) in as much detail as possible. This helps the
    mediator understand the interests of those involved, especially how those interests pertain to money and power.

How does having a lawyer assist the court annexed mediation process?

Once the agendas of both parties are clearly understood, a client’s solicitor can help their client work out what can and cannot be “traded” or offered
as part of a solution. Naturally, if a party to a dispute does not have a clear idea of what they want, it may be pointless to resolve the case on
the basis of offering “things” to settle on.

Mr Beukes said lawyers can also help their clients understand the legal aspects of the case. “Having a lawyer to assist you in narrowing down the likely
facts and application of the law can make a great difference to the outcome of a mediation,” he said.

If you are involved in a dispute and wish to resolve it with minimal costs, then Court annexed mediation is worth considering as it may give you the outcome
you desire, without the costs and delays associated with a trial.

Please contact the dispute resolution experts at Streeterlaw for further information or to discuss your matter on 1300 293 985 or email

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