From time to time I am asked what tips I have for people thinking about choosing a mediator or someone to help them negotiate a deal. The following list isn’t exhaustive, just some of the main things it is useful to be aware of and consider before choosing who to assist you in what can be a time of need.
Choose your mediator carefully! Make sure they have recognised accreditation, are insured and have the sort of experience you need - I am insured with Towergate Insurance and can provide a copy of my policy upon request
Have all the documents you need - there is no point trying to ambush the other side, and no fun being ambushed - share whatever you can and try to have a jointly agreed mediation bundle
Make sure your representatives have authority to settle on the day - there is nothing more frustrating than reaching agreement only to find a party does not have authority to settle. The mediator should ask you to confirm this on the day
Don't mediate too early but mediate as early as you can - formulate your arguments first, don't be left not knowing answers or not knowing how to respond to negotiations on the day
Make sure any third party help is on hand. Try and have insurers at the mediation if required, and have accountants or other experts ready at the end of a phone line. At the very least, make sure they are aware that you are in a mediation and may be required and may need to access documents to assist