Mediation is ‘flavour of the month’ and doubtless there is a lot to be said for it in reducing the costs of civil litigation. I was involved in mediation recently in a consumer claim, and cannot say that the process did more than delay the listing of the case and add to the costs of the parties.

The mediator had not read the pleadings beforehand, as she told the parties that they are not provided by the court. I had also sent her a summary of the facts and of our case. This had not been passed to her and she declined to pause to read it. During the course of the telephone call, she asked why the supplier’s complaint procedure had not been used and argued that we could not obtain damages for breach of contract as the contract provided for no refunds. Finally, she told us that our final offer had not been conveyed to the supplier as she did not believe this would be accepted.

Surely mediators should read the papers in advance and have some basic training in consumer law.

Michael Haran, London SW2