At a very simple level, Hybrid Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) which allows mediators, clients and other professionals to pool their knowledge, resources and skills in order to obtain out of court settlements for clients.
An important distinction to recognise is that is Hybrid Mediation is different from ‘Solicitor inclusive Mediation’, the latter being a form of mediation where your lawyer attends a mediation session essentially to morally support you.
At a Hybrid mediation session, the lawyers are involved at a significantly more inclusive level to provide ongoing support, advice and guidance to their clients allowing the process to be more streamlined and efficient. The Hybrid mediation process also allows other professionals such as expert valuers and tax experts to be involved and provide guidance during the process to allow clients to progress matters.
Hybrid mediation offers the following benefits:
- Timing: Often clients consider mediation at outset and then perhaps if making a court application however there could be a significant delay before it is taken up which means that parties’ positions could well change and initial advice given may be outdated. With Hybrid mediation, you have the benefit of legal advice during your mediation process which means that you could even agree the terms of a consent order during the sessions.
- Relevant and constructive advice from professionals (solicitor/experts): Lawyers and other experts can provide constructive and relevant advice at the time of negotiations and proposals being made. You may also have experts such as accountants or tax lawyers involved who may be able to identify further amendments or provisions that will need to be considered in any further negotiation/final consent order.
- Costs: You may be able to achieve an agreed consent order with a few sessions of mediation as opposed to spending a significant amount of costs on contested court proceedings.
- Timing: You may be able to achieve an agreement more expeditiously as an alternative to lengthy delays in the court process.
- Safeguarding: Vulnerable clients may feel more comfortable participating in mediation if they have the benefit of their lawyer and other professionals involved to provide support, advice, guidance and input on the negotiations.
If you would like further information or to discuss your family matter, please contact the Family Department at ITN Solicitors on 020 3909 8100.