Case Studies 

A dispute involving a young Oxford University graduate with bi-polar disorder and her elderly land lady who evicted her from her flat.  The case was brought under the Disability Discrimination Act.  Settlement was achieved with a very modest payment for injury to feelings and relocation expenses together with a letter of apology from the landlady.  The written apology was more important to the Claimant than the money.

*****

 

 A dispute between a female householder and her builder regarding the quality and quantity of additional work carried out at her property.  The parties had evidently known each other for many years and it later became evident that the householder was attempting to use her affair with the married builder to force his hand regarding settlement.  Settlement was concluded to both parties’ satisfaction with the householder paying for the materials used by the builder whilst he stood the cost of his labour.

*****

 

 A dispute between two neighbours concerning a fence which had collapsed after being used by a previous owner as a retaining wall.  The dispute had been ongoing for some time before mediation was successfully attempted and a compromise solution achieved with concessions being made on both sides relative to site access, disposal of spoil and the like. Furthermore, and more importantly, the neighbours’ relationship was restored.

*****

 

 A dispute between a commercial property owner and a repair contractor concerning the extent of repairs carried out on a 3 storey building.  The amount in dispute was some £12,000 and both sides had instructed solicitors to proceed down the litigation route before the Court instructed that mediation should be attempted. Mediation was successful at a small fraction of the cost already spent by the parties on their legal fees.

*****

 

 A boundary dispute between two neighbours involving the construction of a car port by one party and the construction of a two storey extension by the other. The resolution of the boundary dispute itself was achieved fairly quickly at mediation but the biggest issue was with regard to the legal costs which one party had incurred prior to mediation.  A settlement was achieved whereby the second party contributed to a proportion of the costs incurred by the first at a rate of £25 per month.

*****

 A dispute between a building contractor and the consulting engineer over defectively designed steelwork causing damage to the building and site over-run costs intimated at over £300,000.  The Technology & Construction Court instructed that mediation should be attempted and the dispute was successfully resolved in a one day mediation with a payment by the engineer’s PI insurers of £125,000 inclusive of costs.

*****

 

 A personal injury claim involving a delivery driver who had been run over by a fork lift truck whilst undertaking a delivery at a factory was settled at a four hour mediation between the employee and the insurers for the sum of £305,000 inclusive of costs.  The mediation gave the delivery driver the opportunity to say his piece during the opening session and , in fact, he broke down in tears at one point.  However, once he had expressed his feelings about the way he felt he had been treated, and both sides acknowledged his suffering, the mediation proceeded most satisfactorily with the insurers commenting later that they thought they would have had to pay more to settle if the matter had gone to Court.

*****

 

 A personal injury claim arising out of a road traffic accident 6 years earlier was proceeding down the litigation route and mediation was attempted just prior to the trial date.  In a 3 hour mediation the case was settled amicably.  The turning point was that the Claimant had the opportunity to discuss matters face to face with the Defendant Insurer without the worry of having to give formal evidence at the trial and an apology was provided by the Defendant on behalf of their client.  Whilst the Claimant’s barrister was reluctant to settle for the amount eventually agreed, the Claimant’s wishes prevailed on the day thus providing a lower settlement for no outlay other than an apology and savings against the cost of a week’s trial.

*****

 

 A dispute regarding the quantum of a personal injury claim arising out of a road traffic accident was dealt with at mediation following Part 36 Offers from both sides which were at considerable variance.  The case was scheduled for trial if agreement wasn’t reached.  During the mediation the relative strengths and weaknesses of the respective parties arguments were considered and although the matter was not settled on the day, agreement was reached within days of the mediation when both sides had had the opportunity to reflect upon the issues raised. Trial costs were, therefore, avoided.

*****

 A multi-party dispute involving the owners of 2 factories and the contractor, concerning problems with concrete flooring, adequacy of the air conditioning system and rainwater ingress through the external cladding had been ongoing for 2 years, with litigation looming.  The owners wanted the remedial works completing at no cost to them whilst the contractor maintained that he was not liable for the defects and wanted the outstanding retention to be released.  The mediation process resulted in a compromise being found which was acceptable to all parties and the existing commercial relationship between the parties was maintained.

*****

A dispute between an asset finance company and a private individual being sued for almost £80,000 under a personal guarantee signed in respect of a lease purchase agreement with his company was settled at mediation for approximately £21,000 and importantly the individual was able to structure the payments to suit his current financial situation. A Court would not have been able to do so.

*****

 

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