Mediation does work together

I read Tim Watkin's article "ADR Groups slam mediation-arbitration first" (The Lawyer, 3 May) with great interest and some surprise.

I suppose we should be flattered at Mr Beckett's mediation group's haste to try to "slam" our new one-stop arbitration and mediation company. However, his criticism is wide of the mark. He has not checked his facts. We are not guilty of the offending practice he stigmatises. Our parties are normally given a new arbitrator should the mediation fail. We keep the mediation and arbitration stages entirely separate. Nor is our scheme derived from American "med-arb". It is an independently crafted scheme, intended to provide affordable arbitration for the medium and small business and fair dealing for parties who want to mediate.

However, Mr Beckett and I no doubt have two things in common – a feeling that responsible groups offering mediation should work together to ensure the highest standards and a perception that the market is now ready for alternative dispute resolution – both arbitration and mediation.

Reziya Harrison, director, Centre for Business Arbitration