This month saw the publication of the Seventh Biannual Mediation Andover Audit, which reveals some intriguing shifts in the patterns that have been observed in previous years.
The market itself
The most recent poll puts the annual case count at 10,000, which is a modest rise from the 9,500 recorded in 2021. 145 mediators are responsible for 85 percent of the work, according to the study, which also states that 70 percent of cases are being directed directly to individual mediators rather than going via providers (about 40 cases each per year).
The ones who mediate
Only forty percent of individuals who act as mediators consider themselves to do so on a full-time basis, despite the fact that fifty-four percent of them regard themselves to be either “fairly” or “extremely” experienced. More than half of those in this advanced category had reported participating in less than ten Mediation Andover per year.
The median age of female mediators is 50 years old, whereas male mediators are 57 years old, and women make up 35 percent of the field (increased from 26 percent in 2021). The majority of this growth, on the other hand, seems to be in the “novice” group of mediators, where the percentage has increased from 30 percent to 42 percent.
Even while the diversity numbers are marginally higher than they were in 2014, they still demonstrate that white mediators make up the majority of responders (92 percent).
Mediators who are not lawyers
For the first time, more than a third of those who responded were not qualified to practise law (43 percent ). The number of attorneys who are part of the advanced group has dramatically decreased during the past several years (2012: 70 percent ; 2014: 60 percent ; 2016: 57 percent ). According to the survey, this is not attributable to a decrease in the number of new attorneys entering the market but rather to an increasing effect from new professionals entering the market.
Qualifications for appointment
When it comes to picking a mediator, “professional reputation- experience/status” continues to be ranked as the most important consideration by both the mediators themselves and the attorneys who appoint them. According to mediators, “professional background/qualifications” is the second most important factor (lawyers put this at fifth). On the other hand, attorneys prioritise “professional reputation” over “Mediation Andover style” (with mediators putting this at fifth). There is a disconnect between the fees (lawyers put it at fourth, while mediators put it at seventh) and the availability of the service (lawyers at sixth, mediators at fourth).
“Sector experience,” which was previously put in fourth place by both mediators and attorneys, has recently moved up to third position due to an increase in emphasis placed on it by both professions.
It would appear that mediated agreements are becoming “more difficult.” There is evidence that the length of time required for mediations is increasing. Although the overall rate of mediations that result in a settlement has remained unchanged at 86 percent, the percentage of mediations that are resolved on the same day has decreased from 75 percent to 67 percent. The percentage of parties that reach an agreement soon after Mediation Andover has increased from 11 to 19 percent. There is no explanation for this trend; nonetheless, it is possible that it is connected to the de facto necessity on parties to mediate rather than incur unfavourable costs orders. Anecdotally, mediators are making the observation that parties are only attending mediations because they are compelled to, and that they are not always interested in the conversation. Nevertheless, the numbers suggest that even if this is the case, settlements are still being obtained, although after the day, demonstrating that the process does operate even if it is not always instantly effective.
The performance of the attorneys and clients during the mediations
According to reports provided by mediators, 69 percent of attorneys and 64 percent of clients perform ‘very well’ or’very well’ during mediations, with 19 percent and 21 percent respectively doing ‘adequately’ From what I’ve heard, mediators frequently cite the performance of attorneys as one of the reasons why a Mediation Andover will not be successful.
“over-reliance on consultants” (reported by 48% of mediators), “group thought” (reported by 41% of mediators), “avoidance” (reported by 24%), and “inter-personal conflict within the team” (reported by 24%) were the top four areas of concern reported by mediators (14 percent ).
They also indicated that they came across “effective leadership of client negotiating team” forty percent of the time, but only “excellent negotiation methods” twenty-four percent of the time.
In general, it seems as though the participants still have more work to do in order to effectively prepare for, and then participate in, the event.
The effectiveness of the mediators
On the other hand, attorneys rated the performance of mediators as’very well’ 60 percent of the time, ‘very well’ 21 percent of the time, ‘sufficiently’ 14 percent of the time, and ‘less than adequately’ 5 percent of the time.
A few of examples of typical complaints include the perception of prejudice on the part of the mediator and of those who “served as a messenger.”
Facilitative v evaluative
The subject of whether or not mediators function in a completely facilitative manner or whether or not they are also evaluative and what they perceive the parties to desire is discussed in the report. Although the majority of them claim to be facilitative, we have a sneaking suspicion that the parties would want them to be more evaluative. Although there is a tight line between being appropriately evaluative and conducting the more popular ‘robust reality testing,’ many people appear to agree that as the day goes on, they may grow more critical. However, there is a fine line between being properly evaluative and doing the latter. An additional report is going to be written about this topic, and it will include the opinions of respondents regarding the types of Mediation Andover strategies that were successful and those that were unsuccessful.
When “mega-cases” are taken out of the equation, the research predicts that the overall value of cases mediated each year is roughly £10.5 billion. This figure represents an increase from 2014’s estimate of £9 billion. It also expects that firms will save over £2.8 billion annually in litigation bills, lost productivity, broken relationships, and wasted management time as a result of using Mediation Andover. It is estimated that the Mediation Andover profession is worth a total of £26.5 million, taking into account all of the fees that are collected.