A claim is lodged on Immediation (called a Mediation Request)
A party (called the claimant) may request an online mediation by telling us about their claim and uploading their evidence on the Immediation platform. Contact details for the other side, as well as any witnesses or other people to be included in the mediation, are provided by the claimant.
2) The other side is invited to respond to the claim (called a Mediation Response) and lodge a counterclaim (if any)
Immediation emails the other side (called the respondent) and sends them the Mediation Request. The respondent is invited to respond online and upload their evidence on the Immediation platform. Contact details for any witnesses or other people to be included in the mediation are provided by the respondent.The respondent my also lodge a counterclaim if they have their own claim against the claimant. If this happens, the respondent follows the same process as above. Immediation then notifies the claimant of the counterclaim and invites them to reply.
3) Our Fees are paid
The fee for using Immediation is linked to the value of the dispute. Details of our fees are available here. The fee is generally payable by the party making the claim, unless the parties agree something else. If a counterclaim is made, an additional fee may be payable, as explained here. We also provide an online calculator on the Immediation Resources page, which is accessible once you have created an account with us. Following payment of Immediation’s fee, the mediation process formally begins, which is called the Commencement Date.
4) A Mediator is appointed
Immediation then appoints a mediator, usually within 48 hours, taking into account the type of dispute, the value of the claim, and any subject matter expertise that may be helpful. The mediator will perform conflict of interest checks to make sure they are independent and impartial of both sides.
A Mediation Agreement is then entered into by the parties. The Mediation Agreement covers a number of procedural issues, such as:
- the mediator must be independent, act fairly and be impartial;
- the parties must co-operate with the mediator in the conduct of the mediation;
- the mediator may require witnesses and other people included in the mediation to sign confidentiality agreements;
- the mediator is protected from personal liability in respect of the mediation.
5) What does the mediator do?
The mediator’s role is to help the parties to reach a mutually acceptable resolution of the dispute quickly, fairly, impartially and cost-effectively, by facilitating direct negotiations between the parties and helping them to identify and define the issues in dispute. The mediator has no determinative or legal advisory role in regard to the dispute or the outcome of its resolution.
6) The Mediation Conference is held
A video conference will be scheduled by the mediator, having regard to the party’s availability and convenience. The mediator will run the conference in such manner as s/he considers appropriate having regard to the nature and circumstances of the dispute, while avoiding unnecessary delay and providing a fair and efficient process. The conference will likely include joint and private sessions. Anything said in a private session with the mediator remains confidential unless the mediator is authorised to tell the other side. Any evidence centrally uploaded to Immediation by the parties will be available to the other side and the mediator, unless the parties indicate otherwise. The whole process should be completed within 30 days from the Commencement Date, unless the parties agree something else. It otherwise comes to an end when:
- a settlement is reached;
- a party withdraws from the process;
- the mediator decides that a resolution of the dispute is unlikely;
- or the 30 day time period expires, unless the parties agree something else.
7) Everything remains confidential and “without prejudice”
Everything said and done during the mediation process is confidential and can’t be later used against a party, as far as the law allows.
8) Settlement Agreement or Heads of Agreement
If the parties resolve their differences, their arrangement may be recorded in a binding Settlement Agreement or a non-binding Heads of Agreement which will be signed electronically via Immediation at the end of the Mediation Conference or emailed to the parties to sign later. They cover issues such as confidentiality, non-disparagement and mutual releases, and what each party has agreed to do.
This summary is not legal advice. Parties may wish to seek legal advice as to the dispute resolution process that is most appropriate for their particular circumstances. Please call us on 1300 019 993 or email us at email@example.com if you need any help.