Michael Haran’s unfortunate experience of a civil mediation case should not prevent other practitioners from using this valuable resource in dispute resolution.

During my early years in practice I had extremely positive results from using civil mediation in a variety of seemingly intractable disputes, ranging from libel, to personal injury to a building dispute. In fact, I was so impressed with mediation that I eventually trained as a family mediator and have seen at first hand how the process can work to empower the parties and help them move towards a place that courts and solicitors simply cannot reach.

Of course, it is not suitable for every case or even every client, but with proper screening and an experienced mediator, anything is possible. And following the recent legal aid changes in family proceedings, solicitors and mediators need to work together even more to provide the best service for their clients.

Caroline Goorney, solicitor and family mediator, Newcastle upon Tyne