Our mediation service provides a quick and cost-effective way of resolving all kinds of sports disputes where it is important for the resolution to remain confidential and for the relationship between the parties to be preserved.
Mediation is led by a neutral facilitator who works collaboratively with the parties to reach a joint settlement.
The service includes:
- Appointment of an experienced mediator who has a good understanding of sport
- Assistance in setting up and organising a mediation via our mediation procedure and mediation agreement
- Assistance in finalising a settlement agreement between the parties
- Use of our purposely-designed mediation centre
Examples of sports disputes that we have successfully resolved by mediation include:
- Termination of coaching contracts
- Deterioration of relationships within the board room or dressing room
- Issues arising from commercial contracts and agreements
- Rights and entitlements to govern sport and competitions
- Discrimination issues
- Safeguarding children in sport issues
- What is mediation?
The EU Directive2 describes mediation as: “a structured process, however named or referred to, whereby two or more parties to a dispute attempt by themselves, on a voluntary basis, to reach an agreement on the settlement of their dispute with the assistance of a mediator. This process may be initiated by the parties or suggested or ordered by a court or prescribed by the law of a member state”.
- What part do the parties play in the mediation process?
The parties retain ownership of the dispute, and do not hand power to the mediator. The mediator does not decide the case, or tell one or other party that she is right or wrong, It is essential that a representative for each party with sufficient authority to agree terms and sign a settlement agreement attends on mediation day. This does not have to be a legal representative.
- Can a party be required to mediate?
The default position in the UK is that mediation is a voluntary process. It is rarely compulsory. Sport Resolutions will arrange mediation only with the consent of all parties which is secured by signing a mediation agreement. A party is free to walk away at any time before a settlement agreement has been signed.
- What role does the mediator play?
The mediator uses learned techniques to assist the parties to settle their dispute. He will generally ask the parties to prepare for mediation by describing the dispute in a brief written statement, focusing on the outcomes sought, and the impact that success or failure in achieving those outcomes might have on others.
In discussions pre-mediation, and on mediation day, the mediator will explore the views of the parties in joint and/or private confidential sessions. The mediator will challenge preconceptions by testing thought processes, for example: “why do you think you were overlooked for the training camp? Is there another way of looking at what happened that seems plausible to you?” Remember that the mediator remains independent and neutral throughout.
- What are the main features of the mediation process?
At Sport Resolutions we use a standard Mediation Procedure with amendment as required. This provides a structure for what remains a flexible process. The process is confidential and generally without prejudice to ongoing proceedings and/or discussions relating to the dispute in question. All parties sign a mediation agreement promising not to discuss what happens at mediation outside the mediation room.
Sport Resolutions’ procedure also provides for written confidential statements to be provided to the mediator in advance. Those statements will not be disclosed to the other party unless the maker agrees. Everything said to the mediator in private session is confidential, and will not be disclosed without consent.
The parties can say what they like (within the bounds of decency!) without fear of the information being used against them at a later date.
- How is a case settled?
If settlement is reached, the mediator will assist the parties to draw up a written settlement agreement, which once signed is binding on the parties. If a case does not settle on the day, this should not be seen as failure. The parties will at least have explored their differences, and may have greater understanding of the issues between them, leading to settlement shortly afterwards.
- How much does it cost to mediate?
The cost of the mediation is usually linked to the value of the dispute and to the financial means of the parties. The total cost of a mediation ranges from £1000 to £6000 and is split equally between the parties, unless the parties agree otherwise. Each party is responsible for payment of his own costs, including legal fees.
- Appointing the Mediator
Sport Resolutions provides a shortlist of experienced sport specialist mediators for the parties to choose from. If the parties cannot agree or would prefer Sport Resolutions to appoint the mediator, then we are able to do so.
- How long does mediation take?
Mediation usually lasts for a single day and sometimes goes on into the evening and early hours of the morning in order to reach a settlement agreement.
- Where does mediation take place?
The parties need to agree between them where the mediation should take place. Our 1 Paternoster Lane Arbitration and Mediation Centre is purpose designed to host mediations. It is fully self contained and has four private breakout rooms and a large board room.