A pilot scheme encouraging mediation as a less costly way of resolving civil disputes will launch in Manchester on 1 September.
Mediation sessions will be held at Manchester Civil Justice Centre and the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.
The pilot will be available to parties involved in disputes where the value of a claim is more than £10,000 and cases where one party seeks something other than money, including an injunction. All participating mediators will be registered with the Civil Mediation Council (CMC).
Prices, for a two and a half hour session, start at £190 for cases valued between £10,000 and £15,000 and rise to £780 for cases valued between £200,000 and £500,000.
The scheme is being run by Manchester Law Society, registered Civil Mediation Council mediators and ProMediate (UK), a registered mediation service provider. Similar schemes are planned in Devon and Central London.
Peter Causton, commercial mediator and chief executive of ProMediate, said: ‘Practitioners will be aware that the courts encourage parties to use mediation to resolve disputes and that a refusal to mediate can result in costs sanctions.
’It will provide a quality assured, cost effective, responsive, local service for practitioners. This scheme is designed to provide access to mediation for mid-value cases which Briggs LJ identified as being not adequately catered for in the current system. It will provide a resolution service, at proportionate cost to the participants, where the cost of an all-day private mediation might be disproportionate.’