What is Mediation?

Mediation is a flexible process conducted confidentially in which a trained neutral mediator actively assists people and/or organisations to work towards a negotiated agreement of a dispute. Both parties are in ultimate control of the decision to settle and the terms of resolution.

It can be a far more effective – and much cheaper – way of resolving issues than going through the courts.



  • Courts actively encourage mediation.
  • Mediation is voluntary. However, refusal to mediate could mean that courts might award costs against you.
  • You can have mediation at any stage before or during court proceedings.
  • Your legal rights are unaffected. This means that if you can’t reach agreement, you can still revert to court proceedings.
  • Mediation is confidential and 'without prejudice'. That means that nothing said in the mediation is admissible as evidence in legal proceedings.
  • Any settlement reached is legally binding once put into writing and signed by the parties.

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to how mediation works:

  • Relevant information is shared by each party and the mediator beforehand. This can be in person or, if this is not practicable, via phone.
  • All sides will meet for confidential discussions, both separately with the mediator and, by agreement, face-to-face with each other.
  • Information shared with the mediator by each party is confidential and only disclosed to the other party by prior agreement.
  • The mediator’s role is to help find agreement. They may help a party test the strength of a case in private and may suggest how a proposed solution might be received by the other party. However, they will never take sides.
  • Once a way forward has been reached, a written, binding agreement is drawn up immediately and its implementation planned.

There are many reasons why more and more individuals and organisations are opting for mediation:

  • Successful – over 80% of cases referred to CEDR settle.
  • Quick – most mediations are arranged within a few weeks, or even days, and the formal mediation session usually lasts for one or two days only.
  • Cost-effective – compared with litigation and arbitration processes, mediation is a less expensive way of resolving disputes.

Mediator Quality Commitments

At CEDR the appointment of a mediator to our panels and to individual cases is guided by 4 commitments:

  1.   Quality
  2.   Developing new talent
  3.   Diversity
  4.   Transparency of selection

Further information can be found here.

Choosing a mediator

CEDR has one of the most comprehensive groupings of mediators in Europe. Mediators appointed to all CEDR Panels are CEDR accredited and have been through our quality assurance processes and are appointed to our Panels in accordance with our Mediator Quality Commitments (see left panel).

This gives our clients the confidence that by choosing a CEDR panel mediator they will be getting a tried and tested professional.

CEDR operates three different mediator panels:

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