What is Mediation?

The Small Claims Mediation Service is a free service provided by the Civil Courts for people involved in a small claims dispute.

If a mediation is to take place, the court office will be in touch to arrange an appointment. If you don’t hear from the court within a fortnight of filing your directions questionnaire, give the Court a call to remind them you want to use the small claims mediation service.

The current contact details for the service are:

Telephone: 0300 123 4593

Email: scmreferrals@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk

Small Claims Mediation, HMCTS, PO Box 8793, Leicester, LE1 8BN

The mediation takes place over the telephone. The session is likely to be limited to 1 hour and because the mediation takes place over the telephone, it is a convenient and cost-effective method of trying to resolve a dispute.

The mediator is a Court employee who is trained in mediation skills, not a Judge. The mediator may not be familiar with or even have access to the papers already filed with the Court. It is not his role or necessary for him to know all the detail and facts and they will not give any legal advice or provide any indication as to the strength of each case. The mediator’s role is to act as a middleman to see if terms of the settlement can be reached.

The mediator will focus on striking a deal, rather than getting into the detail or trying to decide who is right or wrong.

The mediator will know that feelings as well as facts may affect the parties’ decision making. He will try to control emotions and keep the negotiations on track.