NEW FIGURES released by the Centre for Dispute Resolution (CEDR) show that
the number of mediations it has dealt with has doubled since Lord Woolf's
Between April and June this year, the organisation dealt with 80
mediations, a 100 per cent increase on the same period last year.
The number of lawyers training in alternative dispute resolution at the
centre has also doubled since the introduction of the reforms.
Quentin Smith, a partner in the litigation and dispute resolution
department at Addleshaw Booth & Co in Manchester, believes Woolf's reforms
have made lawyers think from the outset about how they are going to resolve
“The Woolf reforms have created a new climate in which lawyers have to
plan their cases much earlier,” he says. “If they are doing that with
clients' interests in mind, they must be considering mediation from the
outset. Both lawyers and clients are beginning to recognise its huge
Bill Marsh, director of CEDR, says: “The figures certainly put paid to
those critics who believed that mediation would no longer have a place in a
streamlined and more efficient justice system.”