Going to court may be the only way to resolve a legal dispute, where a party has a strong case and there is no room to negotiate. Similarly, legal proceedings will always be justified where legal advisers are unable to reach a settlement as the law is unclear or no legal precedent exists. In the vast majority of cases, however, there is every reason to try and settle a case to avoid unnecessary legal costs and to provide certainty for the parties involved.
The ethos of Garden Court is about achieving the best outcome for our clients, so exploring settlements which go beyond the narrow legal issues, such as restoring a relationship between a landlord and their tenant or between a local authority and a vulnerable adult in their care may be as important as clarifying the legal relationship between the parties.
An important feature of mediation is identifying a party’s underlying interests. Before entering mediation it is important, therefore, to consider what a party really wants to achieve. By bringing within the terms of any potential agreement these considerations, mediation will not be about ‘horse trading’ or compromise but about parties actively achieving the best outcome.