Mediation involves a neutral third party, a "mediator", facilitating the negotiation and resolution of a dispute between parties. It is a tried and tested means of dispute resolution and a highly effective way of resolving disputes - even in situations where the parties, negotiating on their own without a mediator, have been unable to find a resolution. Mediation can take place at any stage of a dispute but it is usually desirable to hold a mediation at an early stage.

Why is mediation preferred for resolving disputes?

The principal advantage of mediation is that it is relatively inexpensive compared to litigation and arbitration. It is also a much quicker process. Where disputes are resolved by mediation it is sometimes possible to preserve the business relationship between the parties rather than the parties permanently falling out as often occurs after litigation or arbitration. 

Other advantages of mediation

  • The process is confidential and, being highly flexible, it can be tailored to the specific requirements of the parties in dispute. 
  • Unless otherwise agreed, mediation is not evaluative and is not binding on the parties - in the sense that the mediator does not adjudicate on the dispute or impose any outcome on the parties. 
  • Accordingly, the question of whether or not to settle the dispute and if so on what terms, lies entirely in the hands of the parties.

To learn more about mediation, read our frequently asked questions.

Find a mediator

Our dispute resolution lawyers have mediated all types of disputes and are available to advise and support through the mediation process. To discuss how we can help you, get in touch with your usual Osborne Clarke contact or one of our mediators.


Leisure company

Shareholder dispute over the break-up of a business. After a multi-party mediation, the dispute was settled without recourse to litigation. The business was saved as a result of the early resolution. 

Brand owner

Claim against a firm of solicitors for negligent advice relating to a business loan and shareholders agreement. The claim was mediated shortly after litigation was started, with the defendant firm agreeing to pay substantial damages.

Infrastructure company

Complex dispute involving the termination of a contract for the design and implementation of a high value IT project. The dispute was successfully resolved at an early stage as a result of mediation, saving the parties considerable legal costs.

Global technology company

Claim for damages of US$30million for alleged breach of contract, misrepresentation and deceit. Mediation was held mid-way through litigation and a settlement agreed.

Manufacturing company

Software copyright infringement dispute. The claim against our client was settled for a fraction of the damages claimed after an all-night mediation.

European video games distributor

Acting for a distributor in claims against fraudulent employees. The dispute was mediated, resulting in a significant payment to our client and the cessation of the court proceedings.


Fatal helicopter crash, leading to multiple claims by relatives against aviation companies and insurers involving lengthy and emotional proceedings in several jurisdictions. The claims were settled as a result of a series of mediation sessions attended by the parties.


Counsel in a CEDR mediation between a US supplier and a German EPC company concerning environmental clean-up plant.


Counsel in a CEDR mediation between a Central European state-owned oil company and a IOC concerning a contract for the sale of a downstream business

Private equity

Acted for a shareholder and ex-CEO of a private company in a £70 m claim brought by private equity investors involving multiple allegations of breach of directors' duties, breach of fiduciary duties and fraudulent misrepresentation. The matter resolved successfully shortly after and assisted by mediation.

Energy company

Dispute relating to the liability to pay transmission and use of system charges.  A mediation involving the supplier, the distributor and the user resulted in a settlement on the day of the mediation, bringing an end to arbitration proceedings.

Group action

Mediation of a dispute involving large number claimants who had commenced a group action against a large corporate under a Group Litigation Order.  The dispute was settled following mediation at a late stage of the litigation, avoiding a highly expensive trial.

Multinational pharmaceutical and chemical company

Acted for the claimant in a dispute over a public procurement for a long term supply and services contract. Mediation was held shortly before trial, which resulted in the defendant abandoning the procurement which was the desired outcome for our client.

Marine salvage company

Acted for the claimant in a dispute over a public contract for marine salvage rights.  The claim was mediated a few weeks before trial, resulting in settlement on the day before trial with substantial damages and legal fees being paid to our client.

Real estate investor

Dispute between our client and an adjoining land owner regarding rights of light. The dispute was settled at mediation, with a significant payment being made to our client (for the release their rights to light to allow for the adjoining neighbouring land to be redeveloped) and a reciprocal release of rights of light by the adjoining owner to allow for future redevelopment at our client's site.