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It is interesting how the Law Society itself used mediation, when we had to sue them for anti-competitive conduct.

They showed no interest in mediation or negotiation of any sort until shortly before trial. It seemed to us that they thought the threat of costs would be enough to deter us, and we would give up.

Then at a very late stage when they at last realised they had a serious problem they insisted we waste a good deal of time and money on mediation. There was the implicit threat of a costs penalty if we refused.

It served no purpose, and we only agreed to it because we had no choice. If they had been prepared to make a serious offer they could have done so without any third party being involved. I can only assume they thought we would be intimidated by the mediation process and agree a stupid settlement. If that was the plan, it failed. We went to trial and won.

Of course mediation can be useful in some cases, especially if quantum is the main issue. But automatically allowing the a powerful and well resourced defendant to force the claimant into a pointless and expensive mediation is wrong in principle.

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