This page enables you to read and accept our mediation agreement. When both you and your conflict party have confirmed your acceptance of this agreement and paid our fee, we shall be working for you.
These are the terms subject which Andrew Taylor will act as mediator between you and your conflict party in the dispute which you have explained to us. By ticking the box below, you confirm that you have read the agreement and that you understand it and that you agree to be bound by its terms.
Your acceptance of the agreement does not, of itself, make a contract between us. That happens only when we send you an email message which specifically confirms that Andrew Taylor will work for you as soon as our pro–forma invoice has been paid.
It is now agreed
in this agreement certain words shall have the meanings set out below.
|“Participant”||means one of the parties to a dispute who now asks Andrew Taylor to undertake a mediation.|
|“Website”||means the Mediator’s website at www.theMediator.co.uk|
|“he”||means any legal person or organisation capable of instructing the Mediator.|
|“TheMediator”||means Andrew Rhodes Taylor, presently of 19, Camelia Close, Norwich NR9 3FL|
2. Legal status and interpretation
2.1. If the person agreeing to the terms of this contract is not personally a Participant then he/she now warrants that he has the full, unqualified and irrevocable authority to bind the Participant for whom he/she is an agent or employee and every other person who represents that Participant, to the terms of this agreement and any other agreement resulting from the mediation process.
2.2. In the mediation of a dispute relating to the personal affairs of a Participant, that Participant shall be represented only by himself.
3. The mediation process
The Participants understand, accept and agree that:
3.1. this mediation contract is made when the Participants have paid the sums due and the Mediator has confirmed that he will accept their instruction.
3.2. the Mediator's objective is to facilitate the Participants themselves in reaching their most fair and constructive agreement.
3.3. the Mediator will assist the Participants in resolving the dispute by mediation; exploring issues, interests, needs and concerns of the Participants and by assisting them independently and neutrally by generating options for a mutually agreed resolution of the matters in dispute.
3.4. the Mediator will conduct the mediation in a positive manner, providing constant opportunity for the Participants to express themselves whilst at the same time pressing the Participants to recall facts, consider their case and that of their conflict party, looking positively towards opportunities to achieve a win:win situation.
3.5. the Mediator will exercise his personal experience, skill, judgment and intuition as he shall alone see fit and appropriate in all the circumstances and he shall not be under any obligation to act in, or conduct the proceedings in, any particular manner.
3.6. because mediation is a voluntary process, the Mediator will not, and cannot, compel the Participants to settle.
3.7. although they shall have instructed the Mediator to conduct the mediation substantially at a live meeting or substantially by other means of communication, the precise division between these alternatives is entirely at the discretion of the Mediator.
4. The Mediators position
The Participants and the Mediator agree that the Mediator:
4.1. shall chair, and determine the procedure for, the mediation.
4.2. if requested by both Participants, will facilitate the drawing up of any settlement agreement.
4.3. has no power to decide a disputed issue on behalf of the Participants.
4.4. has an obligation to work on behalf of each Participant equally and shall not prefer the interest of any Participant over the other;.
4.5. may at any time communicate separately with an individual Participant, in which case such "caucus" shall be confidential between the Mediator and that Participant;
4.6. does not offer legal advice to a Participant;
4.7. has no duty to assert or protect the legal rights of a Participant, nor to raise any issue not raised by a Participant himself;
4.8. has no duty to ensure the enforceability or validity of any agreement reached.
4.9. shall not be liable to a Participant for any act or omission in relation to the mediation, by whatever process the mediation is effected, unless his act or omission is proved to have been fraudulent or involved wilful misconduct.
5. Obligations of the Participants
The Participants understand, accept and agree that:
5.1. they will observe and abide by the Mediator’s directions both in the administration of the mediation process and at the time of any joint meeting.
5.2. in the case of a face-to-face mediation, they will remain engaged in the process for a minimum time as is required for one private “caucus” meeting each.
5.3. they will attempt in good faith to settle their dispute by this mediation process.
5.4. they will fully and honestly disclose all relevant information as requested by the Mediator if the Mediator determines that the disclosure is relevant to the mediation discussions.
6. Documents required for the mediation
6.1. The provisions of this paragraph do not apply strictly to arrangements for mediation of divorce-related issues.
6.2. Each Participant will prepare for the other Participant(s), and for the Mediator, hard copies of:
6.2.1. a concise summary ("Position Statement”) of his case in the dispute; and
6.2.2. subject to guidance by the Mediator all the documents to which the Position Statement refers and any others to which it may want to refer in the mediation ("Documents").
6.3. The Participants shall have exchanged their respective Position Statements and Documents with each other by agreement or at the direction of the Mediator in good time before the mediation and sent copies directly to the Mediator at the same time.
6.4. Insofar as the Mediator requests Documents to be uploaded to www.TheMediator.co.uk, the Mediator will make those Documents available to the Participants in soft copy, in the terms each Participant has instructed.
6.5. The Participants should try to agree:
6.5.1 the maximum number of words / pages of each Position Statement; and
6.5.2. a joint bundle of Documents or the maximum length of each bundle of Documents bearing in mind the time available to the Mediator commensurate with the fee and time allowed for preparation.
6.6. Documents used at the mediation meeting shall be in hard copy only.
6.7. The Mediator:
6.7.1. may, at any time after the mediation process is complete, destroy or delete, as the case may be, all documents and information supplied to him for the purpose of the mediation.
6.7.2. need not return to a Participant any hard copy document or thing sent to him for the purpose of the mediation.
6.7.3. shall destroy or delete, as the case may be, all documents and things sent to him by, or on behalf of, a Participant, within six months of the last communication between him and either of the Participants.
7. Fees and expenses
7.1. The Participants are jointly and severally liable for all of the Mediator’s fees and expenses notwithstanding that the Mediator shall have submitted an invoice to each Participant for half of the total sum due.
7.2. Each Participant agrees to pay to the Mediator whatever sum may be due by the other Participant if unpaid within 14 days of submission of invoice.
7.3. The Mediator’s fee for conducting the mediation shall be as provided on the Website at the time when the Participants booked a date for the mediation.
7.4. Additional time charges shall be payable in the sums and circumstances as provided on the Website.
7.5. Additional expenses relating to the venue for the mediation and the travel costs of the Mediator shall be payable, if incurred, at the rates referred to on the Website.
7.6. All fees and expenses are quoted exclusive of VAT, which shall be charged where applicable.
7.7. Each Participant agrees that any court or tribunal may treat both the mediation fees and each Participant’s legal costs as costs in the case in relation to any assessment of costs, whether or not the mediation results in settlement of their dispute.
7.8. The Mediator is under no obligation to start or continue a mediation when any part of his fees or expenses are outstanding.
7.9. Should payment not be timely made, the Mediator may, at his/her sole discretion, stop all work on behalf of the Participants, including the drafting and/or distribution of the Participants' agreement, and withdraw from the mediation.
8.1. With the agreement of the Participants, the Mediator may adjourn the mediation proceeding in order to allow Participants to consider specific proposals, obtain further information or for any other reason which the Mediator considers essential to further the mediation process. The mediation will then reconvene with the agreement of the Participants.
8.2. An additional fee for the reconvened meeting will be payable to the Mediator based on the same hourly rate as charged for the adjourned meeting.
9. Settlement and termination
9.1. No terms of settlement reached at the mediation will be legally binding until set out in writing and signed by or on behalf of each of the Participants.
9.2. In any event, a settlement of a dispute in the course of divorce or any other formal or informal process whereby a couple cease to cohabit, shall not be legally binding but shall be considered to be a statement of intent to put the terms of settlement to the Court in the form of an agreed draft order which must be drawn after the mediation process is complete, by the parties for their legal representatives.
9.3. The mediation will terminate when:
9.3.1. a written settlement is concluded; or
9.3.2. the time allocated for the mediation expires and the Participants have not instructed the Mediator to arrange a continuation; or
9.3.3. the Mediator terminates the mediation (which the Mediator may do in his or her absolute discretion); or
9.3.4. a Participant withdraws from the mediation - by notifying the Mediator and the other Participant in writing, that they do so.
9.4. The Mediator may terminate the mediation unilaterally. If he does so, he is under no obligation to explain his decision, but may do so if requested. Examples of reasons for termination are:
9.4.1. the Mediator believes that the mediation will lead to an unjust or unreasonable result;
9.4.2. the Mediator believes that an impasse has been reached;
9.4.3. the Mediator believes that he can no longer effectively perform his facilitative role;
9.4.4. the Mediator believes that the power imbalance between the Participants is such that a fair outcome is not possible;
9.4.5. the Mediator becomes aware of some over-riding factor beyond the control of the Participants which makes impossible an outcome acceptable to both Participants;
9.5. Termination of the mediation for whatever reason shall not entitle a Participant to a refund or cancellation of any part of the Mediator’s fee and expenses.
10. Cancellation by a consumer
Note, not forming part of the agreement
This applies to every mediation connected with divorce, family law and also to mediation instructions relating to your personal affairs if they are not business matters.
As you are probably aware, if you buy as a consumer you have “protection” as set out in the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 (the “Regulations”).
The Regulations give you a right to cancel your instruction to the Mediator within 14 days.
We start work immediately that we receive your instruction, so, sadly, we cannot accept your instructions if you fail to tell us at the time you instruct us that you want to give up your 14 day cooling off period.
We handle this by asking you for confirmation that you want us to start immediately, in the automatic email message we send to you when you pay for our service.
However, we are compelled by law also to tell you all about your rights formally and to provide you with a suitable form as part of this contract. So we do that below.
In practice, we suggest you ignore the following paragraph and the example message at the end of this document, and simply reply to our email when you receive it. Now here is the formal notice.
Notice to consumers
10.1. If you buy as a consumer you have 14 days from the date this contract becomes effective, in which to cancel it. If you do, all money paid will be returned to you immediately and you will be under no further obligation.
10.2. To exercise the right to cancel, you must tell the Mediator of your decision clearly. At the end of this document is an example form you may use. You do not have to use it.
10.3. The reimbursement will be made without undue delay, and not later than 14 days after the day on which you informed us about your decision to cancel this contract.
10.4. We will repay you in the same way that you paid us.
10.5. The Regulations give you no special right to cancel after the expiry of the 14 day period. Your common law rights and other statutory rights are not reduced or otherwise affected.
Cancellation – apart from the Regulations
The following provisions apply, whether or not you are a consumer.
10.6. A Participant may cancel this contract by written notice of cancellation at any time.
10.7. At any time, the cancellation fee for an online mediation cancelled before the fixed date is 25% of the fee.
10.8. The following provisions apply to cancellation of a mediation for which a date has been booked in the Mediator’s diary for a live meeting.
10.8.1. If a Participant cancels more than seven days before the date fixed for the mediation, the Mediator will refund 70% of the fee after deduction of any expenses he has incurred, for example on travel and accommodation and the cost of the venue.
10.8.2 If a Participant cancels seven or fewer days before the date fixed for the mediation, the Mediator will refund 50% of the fee after deduction of expenses, as above.
10.8.3. If multiple mediation appointments have been booked and the Participants have attended the first appointment booked, they may cancel subsequent appointments or vary the dates and times booked, without charge.
10.9. The Mediator will invoice each Participant for their equal share of the cancellation charges, which, if not already paid, shall be payable within 7 days of the date of the invoice.
10.10. If a mediation has been cancelled and an appropriate refund is due or has been made, then if, within three months of the cancelled date, venue booking is made, then the fee for the re-booking will be reduced by 75%.
10.11. If no settlement has been reached on the mediation date and the Mediator, at the request of any Participant, spends time working on the mediation after the mediation date, that additional time shall be charged to the Participants at the same average hourly rate as charged for the original mediation.
Subject to the exceptions listed below, the Mediator and each Participant irrevocably agree:
11.1. that they will keep confidential all information arising out of or in connection with the mediation, including the terms of any settlement, unless otherwise agreed by the Participants in writing;
11.2. that all information passing between the Participants and the Mediator is without prejudice to any Participant’s legal position and may not be produced as evidence or disclosed to any judge, arbitrator or other decision-maker in any legal or formal process.
11.3. The exceptions to this provision are:
11.3.1. insofar as is necessary to implement and enforce any written settlement agreement signed by or on behalf of the Participants; or
11.3.2. to comply with any court directions or order, and/or
11.3.3. where costs are at issue following subsequent litigation on the same issues.
11.3.4. where a Participant discusses any aspect of the mediation with a professional adviser or insurer.
11.3.5. where a Participant discusses any aspect of a mediation relating to divorce or family affairs with some person close to the circumstances of the dispute. In this case, that Participant shall be personally liable for any breach of confidentiality arising through any such discussion.
11.3.6. for the Mediator, disclosure of any circumstance or record which tends to indicate that they health, safety or welfare of some person may be at risk. In any such circumstance the Mediator shall make such disclosure as he considers appropriate only to a judicial or governmental authority with appropriate jurisdiction to handle it.
12. The Mediator as a witness
12.1. In this paragraph alone, the expression “the Mediator” includes any person associated in any way with the Mediator in the course of arranging or managing the mediation process and “testify” means “testify or produce any document, record, note, or the like to any judicial forum or authority.
12.2. Each Participant agrees that:
12.2.1. he will not at any time, before, during, or after mediation invoke any legal process, for the purpose of calling the Mediator as a witness, consultant, arbitrator or expert in any litigation or arbitration in relation to the dispute, and the Mediator will not act voluntarily in any such capacity without the written agreement of all the parties.
12.2.2. to the extent that he may have a right to invoke any such legal process as described above, he now irrevocably waives that right.
12.2.3. If, despite the above prohibition, a Participant decides to call the Mediator as a witness, or intimates that he might do so, that Participant agrees to reimburse the Mediator for whatever expenses the Mediator incurs in opposing or complying with such an action, whatever the outcome, including legal fees, and the Mediator’s own time, calculated at the same hourly rate as charged for the mediation process.
12.2.4. Any Participant calling the Mediator as a witness, issuing a witness order or otherwise seeking to compel attendance or other action by the Mediator shall be deemed to have waived his right to rely upon and enforce the confidentiality provisions of this agreement as against the Mediator.
13. Recording the mediation process
No person shall record nor transcribe the mediation, except that:
13.2. a Participant may do so personally, only in manuscript, in the course of the mediation process, specifically for the purpose of recalling points made for use later in the same day, provided taking notes causes no delay.
14. Miscellaneous matters
14.1. This agreement may be signed by or for a Participant or the Mediator in separate counterparts each of which shall be an original, but all such counterparts shall together constitute one and the same record of agreement.
14.2. If any term or provision of this agreement is at any time held by any jurisdiction to be void, invalid or unenforceable, then it shall be treated as changed or reduced, only to the extent minimally necessary to bring it within the laws of that jurisdiction and to prevent it from being void and it shall be binding in that changed or reduced form. Subject to that, each provision shall be interpreted as severable and shall not in any way affect any other of these terms.
14.3. The Mediator undertakes that he will comply with the Data Protection Act 2018 regarding protection, disclosure, and processing of personal information of the Participants and any other person whom the Mediator may contact in relation to the subject matter of this agreement.
14.4. Any obligation in this agreement intended to continue to have effect after termination or completion shall so continue.
14.5. No failure or delay by any party to exercise any right, power or remedy will operate as a waiver of it nor indicate any intention to reduce that or any other right in the future.
14.6. The Participants agree that electronic communications satisfy any legal requirement that such communications be in writing.
14.7. In the event of a dispute between the Participants to this agreement, then they undertake to attempt to settle the dispute by engaging in good faith with the other in a process of mediation before commencing arbitration or litigation.
14.8. Unless otherwise stated, this agreement does not give any right to any third party under the Contracts (Rights of Third Participants) Act 1999 or otherwise, except that any provision in this agreement which excludes or restricts the liability of a party shall also operate to restrict the liability of any employee, subcontractor or agent of that party. This provision may be enforced under that Act.
14.9. In the event of any conflict between any term of this agreement and the provisions of the articles of a limited company or any comparable document intended to regulate any other corporate or collective body, then the terms of this agreement shall prevail.
14.10. Without prejudice to any other rights or remedies which a party may have, the Participants now acknowledge and agree that damages would not be an adequate remedy for any breach of the terms of this agreement and that in the event of breach, the party claiming shall be entitled, in addition to damages, to the remedies of injunction, specific performance and other equitable relief for any threatened or actual breach by the party offending / in breach or any other relevant person.
14.11. The validity, construction and performance of this agreement shall be governed by the laws of England.