Only a lawyer could tell you that not winning does not have to mean losing and why refusing mediation as an alternative to litigation could cost you more than you bargained for…
Although litigation remains the most popular form of resolving legal disputes, 98% of claims issued in the courts ultimately settle but often so late on that the damage in legal fees has already been done. Mediation is a process whereby an independent party facilitates a settlement, acting as an "honest broker" and is a practical alternative for resolving disputes without having to go to a full trial.
Mediation, with an impressive reputation for resolving disputes, achieves a settlement in 80% of cases where it is used, often in just one day. However it is a route that is underused within a justice system that no longer advocates parties either "taking their chances" at trial or striking a deal five minutes before trial.
Parties in mediation avoid the uncertainty and dissatisfaction often experienced in court, particularly the resulting order that may require you to pay the bulk of the winner's legal fees. It provides an opportunity to agree an early compromise or less risky and cheaper alternatives to litigation, whilst offering the opportunity to maintain business relationships.
The courts actively encourage parties to explore mediation early on and this encouragement should not be ignored. If Mediation is not explored, and the court later considers that it should have been, even the winning party can be penalised in the amount of costs they recover from their opponent. In reality, refusing Mediation can cost thousands and whilst the risks of litigation are notorious, the risks of choosing only to litigate are less so.