With the publication of the long-awaited Rule 41A by the Rules Board of the Court of Law a new era in handling disputes has drawn upon us.

As of the 9th March, all parties in dispute will have to consider Mediation before they can proceed to litigation. Should the parties not want to mediate they have to give reason as to why. Should one party fail to mediate (either actively or passively) this will count against that party and they could have a cost order against them.

This new rule will bring about a much-needed relief to the justice system, especially the courts, and will reduce the costs of settling disputes.

As mentioned in many of my previous talks, mediation is the preferred method of settling disputes – it is a win – win way of settling differences without damaging the working relationship that existed before the dispute arose.

What is of great importance in industry is time. Mediation and be completed within two weeks to two months, depending on the complexity of the matter. Litigation will take at least two years.

Nearly every matter can be mediated. We therefor urge you to consider Mediation seriously. What is of importance is that the mediator that is appointed is one with the appropriate qualifications, experience and reputation. Good mediators do specialize.