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Mediation is an increasingly popular method which allows parties to resolve a dispute between them without going to court. It can be used for most types of dispute, including industrial and commercial disputes and has been heavily (and very successfully) used in residential building disputes.

Mediation keeps the dispute in the control of the parties themselves, rather than handing control to a third party such as a judge or an arbitrator. It is informal, generally quick (hours rather than days) and, if successful, very much cheaper than litigation. It has a proven success rate.

Our Mediation Service | About Mediation


Greg Kerr is a trained mediator, accredited by LEADR (Lawyers Engaged in Alternative Dispute Resolution). He has acted as a mediator and has also represented parties in mediation and advised parties to a wide range of disputes on the options, such as mediation, which are available to them to resolve the dispute without having to incur the cost and delay of court action.

He is particularly experienced in mediation of building and construction disputes.

'In my experience, mediation is a very useful and efficient tool to try and resolve disputes in a wide range of areas. It is especially useful where the parties have an ongoing relationship which they want to preserve or that they can't easily get out of'. This is true of most industrial disputes or disputes related to employment.

Mediation often results in better outcomes than traditional negotiations based on a narrowly focussed 'split it down the middle' compromise model, which usually leaves two unhappy parties. The parties are encouraged to look at issues more widely and address all of the issues that arise for them. Sometimes one party might not even be aware that another party is deeply concerned about a particular issue, because previous negotiations have only covered legal issues and ignored things that can be really important to a party, such as maintaining their dignity or having their point of view actually listened to.

Services we can provide are:
advice on the suitability of mediation for resolution of a particular dispute;

assistance to or representation of a party in mediation of industrial and employment related disputes;
mediator services in disputes concerning:
industrial & employment related issues (including discrimination);
administrative disputes;
building and construction disputes (residential and commercial).


In essence, mediation is a form of assisted negotiation. It is voluntary and confidential. The parties and a trained mediator agree formally that they will confer in good faith to try to resolve the issues in dispute between them by agreement. Any agreement reached at the conference is then written down and signed off by the parties and the mediator. Such mediation agreements can be legally binding.

If no agreement is reached, the parties still have all of their existing legal rights available to them. However, nothing said or offered in the mediation conference can be used in later court proceedings. Nor can the mediator be called to give evidence of what was said in the course of the actual mediation.

The role of the mediator is to facilitate the conference. The mediator chairs the conference and brings various techniques to bear to assist the parties to define all of the real issues between them, to identify areas of agreement and then to seek solutions to the disputed issues that are acceptable to the parties. The mediator is neutral and impartial. The mediator is not meant to be an expert on the subject matter of the dispute (although it can sometimes help if the mediator has some understanding of the subject if the dispute is about a specialised subject with its own jargon).

The mediator is not there to decide what the issues are, decide who is at fault, or what the outcome should be. It is not the mediator's role to put forward possible solutions. The mediator will assist the parties to hear and understand what another party is saying, to clarify and discuss a party's position and assist the party to assess its position and that of the other party or parties so that it can deal with the issues in a considered and realistic way. Often parties are unable to do this by themselves without the help of a third party (the mediator) who has no vested interest at stake. In this way it is much more likely that the parties will be able to identify a solution which is satisfactory to all parties.

Not all disputes are suitable for mediation, although most are. Where one or more parties are not prepared to discuss the matter or consider concessions, or where a party is not prepared to enter into the mediation in good faith, it is unlikely that mediation will succeed. However, this is not often the case. Over 90% of all civil claims settle by agreement between the parties before they reach court. Experience of the system for mediation of residential building disputes formerly administered by the NSW Department of Fair Trading achieved resolution rates above 85%.

Most parties, for a variety of reasons, prefer to settle their disputes and get on with life rather than suffer the anxiety, cost and uncertainty of inevitably slow litigation. Mediation provides a proven method which can speed up the process of settlement and achieve a better quality outcome.