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Online mediation – Feedback from users

Our mediators have been busy mediating via video conference and telephone conference over the last couple of weeks.

Many of you have asked about the feedback from those who have mediated via videoconference. Here is a selection of what users have said:

How it looks:

  • “All parties could see and hear each other clearly – Obviously being able to see each other (especially during the opening session where the parties come face to face) is a big part of a Mediation, but this did feel like the next best thing”.
  • “It is important that all parties have a video link, if at all possible”

How it works

  • “The tech: Simple process. Receive an email invite from the mediator with a link to the meeting and a password”.
  • “The mediator had taken the time to test Zoom and its capabilities which paved the way for a smooth day in principle”.

IM Top tip – – Have a practice run a day or two before the mediation, with the mediator and all parties, to ensure everyone has the IT capabilities to conduct the mediation.

Breakout rooms:

  • “This is a feature of Zoom that lends itself well to Mediations. The Mediator, who was the “host”, was able to split the parties off into two virtual “Breakout Rooms” (so essentially each party were on separate video calls, where they couldn’t see or hear the other party) and the Mediator was able to go between the two Breakout Rooms (or be in neither room) as would be the case in a usual Mediation”.
  • “After the opening session, this is how the Mediation was conducted for most of the day and it worked really well – there were no issues with anyone inadvertently being in the wrong room/hearing anything they shouldn’t etc., and we were able to keep up the sense of momentum that we were worried about losing by not being there in person”.

How does in compare to in person mediation?

  • “Zoom allowed us to do everything that we would do in a normal mediation.
  • “Gauging expressions and reactions – it was possible to clearly see the reactions of each person participating in the mediation on one screen which provided a completely different perspective to mediating face to face”.
  • “There is also feeling that all participants are listening more intently to one another than those attended in person”.
  • “Zoom also had functions that would not be possible in person for example, private chat and being able to immediately tell the mediator you wanted a word”.

 

Further quotes from some of our clients…
“Once the Coronavirus lockdown was announced, my instinct was to try and cancel or postpone the mediation. With the mediator’s guidance, however – including helpful ‘dry-run’ exercises – the mediation went ahead and a resolution was achieved on that day.”
Barrister, London

“Zoom allowed us to do everything that we would do in a normal mediation – gauging expressions and reactions, showing each other documents, discussing in various forums etc. It also had functions that would not be possible in person – private chat, voting buttons, being able to immediately tell the mediator you wanted a word. I was very impressed and will not hesitate to use it again in future.”
Partner, international law firm

“We have just finished our first remote mediation using the platform Zoom. It was a 4 party mediation with 11 participants. The technology held up very well and allowed us to maintain the same structure to the day as we would have followed with a normal “in person” mediation. Using Zoom saved us all travelling to Plymouth for the mediation. I estimate that saved about 60 hours of collective travel time.”
Partner, Law Firm, Bristol

Independent Mediators awarded Who's Who Legal Mediation Firm of the Year 2019

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