The Increasing Importance Of Mediation In The UK

Author:Ms Christina Lockwood (Fenwick Elliott Consultant)
Profession:Fenwick Elliott LLP

CEDR Mediation Audit 2014 and Commercial Mediation Rules and Model Documents

The marketplace

The results of the Sixth CEDR Mediation Audit show that the UK mediation market has grown by 9% in the last year. The current size of the civil and commercial mediation market is estimated as being in the order of 9,500 cases per annum. This does neither include community or family mediation nor the statutory ACAS service or the HMCS Small Claims Mediation Service, which are not included in the CEDR Mediation Audit.

In order to assess the overall economic impact of the commercial mediation field as a whole, CEDR combined the results of the six Mediation Audit surveys with detailed operational statistics taken from CEDR's own caseload and came to the following conclusion:

The total value of cases mediated each year is approximately £9 billion. (Since the impact of "mega-cases" can significantly influence this total value of cases mediated, the effect of such mega-cases has been excluded.) Since 1990 the total value of mediated cases is approaching £65 billion. Currently the commercial mediation profession saves business around £2.4 billion a year by achieving earlier resolution of cases that would otherwise have proceeded through litigation. The results of CEDR's Sixth Mediation Audit suggest that the aggregate value of the mediation profession's total fee income is around £22.5 million per year. The survey of commercial mediator attitudes and experience shows that clients and advisers refer 66% of ad hoc cases directly to their chosen mediator rather than working through providers. As might be expected, direct referrals are particularly prevalent amongst the most experienced mediator group.

The market is still dominated by a small group, although it is slightly bigger than in previous years; around 130 individuals are appointed for 85% of all non-scheme commercial cases. In 2012 just 100 individuals held 85% of the market.

The mediators and their practices

The overall profile of respondents is very similar to previous audits. 56% Advanced mediators - who described themselves as "reasonably" or "very" experienced; 22% Intermediates - who categorised their lead mediator experience as "some" or "limited"; and 22% Novices - who were accredited but had no experience as a lead mediator.

The survey finds that the average female mediator is 50 years old, and the average male mediator is 57. The Advanced mediator group are only about a year older than...

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