Mediation: Choosing a Mediator.

Choosing a mediator is an important decision. The mediator will play a crucial role in resolving your dispute. Here are some tips to help you choose the right mediator:

1. Area of expertise: Look for a mediator who has experience and expertise in your area of dispute. For example, if you are dealing with a commercial dispute, choose a mediator with experience in commercial mediation, or if your dispute involves the agricultural sector, look for a mediator with an understanding of farming matters. 

2. Reputation: Consider the mediator's reputation and track record. You can ask for references to get a sense of their experience and effectiveness.

3. Neutrality: Choose a neutral mediator. This is essential for maintaining the impartiality and objectivity of the mediation process. One thing to note here, though, is that the fact a mediator has conducted mediations for the firm representing one party in the past doesn’t mean they are not impartial. The fact that one side wants to use the same mediator in another case reflects their view that that mediator was effective and that might make that mediator a good one to choose. 

4. Communication skills: Good communication skills are crucial for a mediator to be effective. Look for a mediator who is able to communicate effectively and understand the needs and concerns of both parties.

5. Availability: Make sure the mediator you choose is available and can attend the mediation on the agreed date.

6. Cost: Consider the cost of the mediator, but keep in mind that a more experienced and qualified mediator may be worth the extra expense.

7. Mediation style: Different mediators have different styles, so it's important to choose a mediator whose approach aligns with your needs and goals. For example, some mediators are more facilitative, while others are more directive.

8. Accreditation: Consider choosing a mediator who is accredited by a recognised professional organisation, such as the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) or the ADR Group.

9. Location: If the mediator needs to be physically present, consider the location and logistics of the mediation.

10. Referral: Ask for referrals from friends, colleagues, or other professionals who have used mediation services.

By considering these factors, you can choose a mediator who is best suited to your needs and the specific needs of your dispute.

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