The Court of Appeal (CoA) is set to pilot a mediation scheme for all contract claims and personal injury cases up to the value of £100,000 for which permission to appeal is granted, in an effort to cut litigation costs.
Under the scheme, parties will be expected to mediate disputes, unless the presiding judge says otherwise. If both parties agree to mediation, a panel of accredited Court of Appeal Mediation Scheme (CAMS) mediators will be nominated by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR), to bring the parties together in an effort to reach a settlement.
Lord Justice Rix, who is driving the scheme forward as part of the Master of Rolls Lord Neuberger’s aim to revitalise the CAMS scheme, has said of the pilot: “Judges regularly see cases in the Court of Appeal which could easily have been resolved at an earlier stage through the use of mediation.
“Parties may not be poles apart, but litigation can have a corrosive effect for which mediation can provide a balm.
“Mediation in the Court of Appeal can save a great deal of money and anxiety.”
It is hoped that if a settlement can be agreed during mediation, by the case not returning back to the Court of Appeal, it will speed up potential settlements and save litigation costs.
The pilot started earlier this week, and is due to run for the next twelve months, with an evaluation to be considered by the senior judiciary on whether the scheme should be implemented full time.