In his letter of 17 June, Michael Haran related a bad experience with what may have been a small claims telephone mediation provided by the county court.

I have great sympathy with him. But he should not compare this cheap and cheerful type of mediation, which incidentally does have a reasonable success rate, with commercial mediation, where the parties pay a proper fee to an experienced, professional mediator and are present in person for a day. These have a success rate of more than 80% in getting to an agreed resolution, saving huge amounts of time and cost.

Also, mediations can help parties address issues that a court could not. After 13 years as a mediator and 40 years as a litigation solicitor, I urge Mr Haran not to give up on mediation because of one disappointing case.

Alan Langleben, consultant, Ashfords, London W1