Could mediation provide the perfect solution to lengthy court delays?

Prolonged and delayed legal proceedings can often cause problems for litigants as they may experience increased financial and emotional stress due to the ongoing uncertainty.

According to the Ministry of Justice, it now takes an all-time high average of 55.6 weeks for a small claim worth up to £10,000.00 to progress from issue to trial – 3.5 weeks longer than in the same quarter in 2022.

For higher-value claims (fast track and multi-track cases), the period between issue and trial is an average of 76.4 weeks.

Usually, the higher the value and the greater the complexity, the more time it is going to take for your case to progress to trial.

Some cases will progress quicker. Some will progress slower.

It’s worth remembering that these timescales are also in addition to the pre-action period, which could take anything from two or three weeks to six months or more, depending on the nature of the case and the cooperation between the parties involved.

No matter how you look at it, this is still a significant time for parties to a dispute to wait for justice.

Delays like this can also result in other implications such as a witness’ memories fading over time. The longer the delay, the greater the risk of imperfect recollection of key facts that might go to the heart of the dispute.

What is the solution to this problem?

Mediation, the process where disputes are resolved by using a neutral third party to facilitate discussion and negotiation, could provide a much-needed solution for anyone who is embroiled in a dispute.

The biggest benefit of mediation over litigation is that it is quicker – and far cheaper – than the court process.

Not only is mediation entirely confidential, it is also far more flexible in terms of possible outcomes. It could even help you to reach a settlement that cannot be ordered in a court.

If the mediation does not produce a settlement, you can still go to court and there’s nothing to lose – other than a couple of extra weeks in an already lengthy wait.

Rather than wait up to 76 weeks to get your day in court, get in touch with our specialist dispute resolution team and discuss how we can help resolve your issues more cost effectively.

For a friendly discussion, email or call 0191 5666 500 – there is no obligation to pursue legal action and any information will be treated in confidence.

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