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Case Studies

Litigation a Pyrrhic Victory or No Win All Lose

In 2011 a company was formed by A and B who were in a relationship.  The couple had different skills and experience and operated a business which hired 3 vehicles, two of which were owned by the company and the third was leased by a friend of A.  B was the company sole director and secretary.

The couple fell out and A took two of the vehicles and sold them, A persuaded the friend to stop leasing the third vehicle thus ending the business.


B was left with a personal guarantee for the cost of the vehicles which would be ruinous to B financially as B had no means of income without the vehicles, the police were not interested.


The parties did not engage in mediation.


Proceedings were issued by B in the name of the company for the return of the vehicles to the company arguing they had been sold without permission.


Ultimately after several applications and many months the company was successful and the vehicles were returned costs were awarded against A in excess of £50,000.


A had no assets or proceeds of sale left, and went bankrupt, A paid nothing; the business failed as it had not been able to trade for months; the vehicles were sold at a significant undervalue;


B, the director, who was personally liable to the bank for the cost of the vehicles (£20,000) and the unpaid solicitor’s fees (£30,000) had won the case but ultimately faced bankruptcy as the sale proceeds did not cover B's debts.


Stockport Mediation would have helped in this situation to narrow the arguments down and could have seen a resolution reached without the issue of proceedings, the bankruptcy of both people and closure of the business.


A friend asked me the other day if I thought mediation was the way that most disputes would be forced to settle.  After taking a bit of time to explain that mediation isn’t about forcing anyone into a settlement they cannot accept I pointed out that with mediation the people involved in the dispute keep control of any agreement unlike in court where the judge will, generally, decide in favour of one side or the other.  In short my answer was yes, which was backed up by discussions I had with other professionals last week who knew about mediation (in that it existed) but not how much a saving it represented.   It was while I was reviewing new meeting places this week and it’s been a pleasure to meet so many professionals who are not only interested in making office space available for mediation but want to learn more about how the process works.  All the people I spoke to at every level knew that the cost of court was going up but not what the alternatives were, I was more than happy to explain and following those meetings it means that as well as any of our own office space which has become something of premium we are able to source rooms at Hollin Hall ( ) as well as various of the Regus office spaces around the northwest ( )

But I only have one issue...

Not all mediations at Stockport Mediation involve multiple issues; some revolve around a single matter: a debt; an access request; or unfinished work. 


In these circumstances Stockport Mediation can offer a telephone mediation service, where those involved never meet but an agreement is put in place during a series of phone calls.


Fees for this type of mediation can be lower so call us and ask for a quote for a telephone mediation.

Does it always work?

So what can happen to prevent mediation being successful?


At Stockport Mediation we engage with both parties as soon as possible, the sooner we are in contact the more likely it is that we can save both sides time and money.


As soon as we are approached by one side in a dispute we will contact the other to ask if they are willing to take part in the process. 


We copy both sides in to our contact emails and will send each a copy of our latest brochure or information pack (below).  This is one way in which mediation can be prevented from working, the process is voluntary and if one side is adamant that they want to waste the time and money involved in taking the dispute to court then there is little we can do about that decision....and they may always change their mind once they get their first bill from their solicitors.


Stockport Mediation cannot promise that each mediation will result in a complete resolution of your issue but we will give you our full attention for the length of the mediation whether it's an hour or a week (normally it's a day).


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