Have you ever wondered how long a civil procedure can drag out or how much you are likely to pay in legal fees?

We have all heard of mediation; however, it might not be your first port of call when considering the route to take to resolve a dispute of any kind, be it divorce, a corporate fall-out or dissolution of a partnership – yet it really should be!

The process is less formal, more confidential, and easier on the pocket, and the chances are good that relationships will be preserved – the control of the process vests in the mediating parties overseen by an independent 3rd party mediator, and the agreement binds the parties.

So, how does this benefit you?

Money. Instead of forking out thousands, anywhere in the region of R250k to R500k on legal bills in an ongoing paper war and lengthy court battles, the mediation process cuts to the chase and the main expense will be those of the mediator at around R20k – R30k – a no-brainer, right?

Time. Ask your attorney how long a court case can go on for. Even after all the pleadings have closed, you will have to wait a considerable time for a trial date – and that is just the start of it as the appeal procedure still looms ahead. With mediation, the parties and mediator agree to a date which can be within less than a month and the mediation itself should be finalised in a day in most instances – the parties sign the agreement there and then. No mess, no fuss, and half a forest saved by excluding unnecessary paperwork.

Well worth considering!