Mediations double as reforms bite

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

their cases.

“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.”