Most parties to a mediation will benefit from having formal representation to assist and advise them throughout the process and present their case. Mediation advocacy is the skilled technique of presenting and arguing a client’s position, needs and interests in a non-adversarial way.
The role of the advocate
Mediation advocacy is more than simply arguing a client’s case. It involves putting the client's case as persuasively as possible, both to the other side and to the mediator.
At Barlow Robbins we have experienced mediation advocates who understand how one needs to put a case differently to each personality involved in the mediation, whether that person be the mediator or face to face with the other side as their lawyer. Some recipients of a client’s case prefer to hear the detail while others prefer a bird’s eye view; some will appreciate hearing the legal arguments whilst others will prefer to address the commercial solution.
The advocate must create and consider imaginative solutions which hopefully enable the parties to reach a satisfactory resolution. The advocate will have a precise knowledge of the details of the client’s case so as to be in a position to address any point decisively that arises throughout the mediation process. One of the advantages of the mediation process is that the mediation advocate can make an agreement in a way which is impossible for a judge to deliver as a judge possesses only limited powers such as ordering payment of money.
Fundamental to the mediation is the advocate’s control over the process and its outcome. This is necessary to ensure the client arrives at a settlement which not only deals with all matters in issue but also meets their needs and interests.
The advocate is also a crucial source of support and guidance to the client in what is a stressful and unusual situation. At Barlow Robbins we also have the ability in a mediation to contact our own colleagues or external experts who may be able to assist with on the spot advice.
Some use our mediation advocacy service because they do not wish to argue face to face with the other side or their lawyer and would prefer our mediation advocate to do so.