Mediation gives the parties the opportunity to resolve the complaint with the help of an impartial, independent mediator. Mediation is voluntary which means both parties must agree to it.
Mediation is confidential. The parties sign an agreement before the mediation takes place which includes agreeing not to tell anyone about the content of what is discussed or the details of any settlement they reach. At no point is this or the actual detail of the mediation made known to anyone except the parties, the mediator, and the SLCC's Mediation Co-ordinator. Even if a complaint goes on to be investigated, the details of the mediation remain confidential.
Examples of settlements:
Issue 1: Anxiety caused by firm's delay in clarifying defenders claim for damages
Resolution: The firm provided an explanation and acknowledged that there was a lack of effective communication by staff. The complainer accepted the explanation and welcomed the firm's offer to write to him detailing changes to their communications process.
Issue 2: Difficulties for the complainer and family regarding application for Leave to Remain in the United Kingdom
Resolution: After lengthy discussion, the parties decided that the firm would write a letter detailing the original application to the Home Office. In recognition of the additional costs incurred by the complainer, the firm agreed to pay some compensation.
Issue 3: Problems arising from the winding-up of a trust
Resolution: The parties acknowledged that there had been miscommunication on both sides. The firm agreed to undertake fixed additional work for no fee. The complainer agreed to pay the balance of the current outstanding fee.
Issue 4: Stress caused by poor communication and delays in finalising divorce
Resolution: The firm agreed to provide fortnightly updates and to progress matters quickly. They also made an ex gratia payment as a gesture of goodwill. In return the complainer agreed to go no further with the complaint.
Issue 5: Potential claim against complainer because house purchase did not proceed
Resolution: During the mediation it became clear that both parties had different understandings of when missives would be concluded. Together they decided that if a claim were made by the sellers, the firm would represent the complainer for no fee. If the sellers's claim were successful, the parties would share the cost of the claim.