13 May 2010
4th Mediation Audit: Market continues to grow and benefit economy
CEDR's fourth Mediation Audit since 2003, has shown that the market in the UK has continued to grow with approximately 6,000 mainstream commercial and civil cases mediated in the last year (this figure does not include workplace mediations or the Ministry of Justice Small Claims Mediations).
Furthermore value of the cases mediated is £5.1 billion a year (this figure has increase by £1 billion in the last three years) and taken over the last 20 year this figure is almost £40 billion.
By achieving earlier resolution of cases that would otherwise have proceeded through litigation, the commercial mediation profession this year will save the British Economy around £1.4 billion a year in wasted management time, damaged relationships, lost productivity and legal fees. Again taken over the last 20 years this figure comes to contribute savings of £8.8 billion. By way of comparison the audit results suggest that the mediation profession total fee income is around £13.5 million.
Other findings of the Audit include:
- Mediators report that around 75% of their cases settled on the day, with another 14% settling shortly thereafter so as to give an aggregate settlement rate of 89%
- A concerning finding was that Mediators continue to believe that the most important factors in their appointments are Experience and Qualifications (the same as in 2007). However when Lawyers who appoint mediators where asked the same question the response was Experience and the Mediator's Fee (whereas in 2007 this had been Experience and Recommendation by a colleague)
- The market continues to be dominated by a select few. A group of around 90 individuals collectively are involved in around 85% of all non-scheme commercial cases
- For the first time, we are seeing in the Audit results the impact of new, younger entrants into the field. This is particularly the case with women, who now make up 19% of all mediators (and 28% of Mediators with “some” or “limited” lead mediator experience). However this still falls well short of the legal profession, where 45% of practising solicitors are women
- The most important contributors to settlement of cases in mediation were preparation (by clients, mediators and lawyers, in that order) outweighing the impact of negotiation skills and specific mediator techniques. Intransigent parties, unrealistic expectations and clients on fishing expeditions were blamed for the non-settlement of cases, with the prediction that Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs) may have a significant effect on the level of future mediation settlements.
221 mediators participated in the Audit (in addition to lawyers who use mediation in their legal practice).
The full Audit is available to download as a PDF.
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