Surrey Mediation Service will ask you to sign the following terms and conditions at the start of your mediation process. If you have any questions on this, please speak with your mediator.
Agreement to Mediate
The parties have decided to use mediation to resolve issues between themselves and make their own plans for the future. Any proposals they reach will be written in a Memorandum of Understanding.
1. By signing this agreement, the parties express their sincere intention to attempt to: a. Be fair to each other throughout mediation b. Leave fault and blame out of the negotiations c. Be co-operative in resolving disagreements d. Consider their own individual needs, the needs of each other and each child, and the needs of the family as a whole e. Work for the least possible emotional and financial upheaval for all concerned.
2. It is understood that mediation is a voluntary process and can be stopped at any time by either of the parties or the mediator.
3. The parties understand that all communications, (except the disclosure of financial information) to which MediateUK Limited (SMS) are party, are made solely for the purpose of attempting to reach a settlement and are made on the basis that the communications are both (a) confidential and (b) will not be referred to in evidence in any court proceedings about the same issues. They will not be used in affidavits or statements.
However, this promise of confidentiality does not prevent the mediator disclosing information where there is significant risk to life, health or safety of children, the parties or anyone else.
4. The parties are also aware that a. Under the Proceeds of Crime act 2002, where the mediator has reason to believe that either of the parties has benefited, or may benefit, from the proceeds of any crime, there may be a duty to make a report to the Serious Organised Crime Agency without informing the parties that this is being done and that mediation may be discontinued without further notice.
b. For quality control and training purposes, the file may be used in audit procedures, provided that the parties are neither identified nor identifiable.
5. The parties will not call the mediator as a witness, nor require him/her to produce in evidence any records or notes relating to the mediation, in any litigation or other formal or informal legal process arising from or in connection with the issues being considered in this mediation, nor will the mediator act or agree to act as a witness, expert or consultant in any such processes. If any party does make such an application, that party will fully indemnify the mediator in respect of any costs, including legal costs, incurred in resisting or responding to such an application, including reimbursement at the mediator’s standard hourly rate for the mediators time spent in resisting and/or responding to such an application. For the avoidance of doubt, the mediator will be entitled to charge his/her standard hourly rate for any preparation work done in connection with such an application (referred to as "the mediator's costs, fees and expenses").
In the event the court orders the mediator to give evidence and/or disclose his/her files then: a. The party who has made the relevant application to the court will fully indemnify the mediator in respect of the mediator's costs, fees and expenses b. If the court has made an order requiring the mediator to attend/give evidence/disclose documents then the parties will be jointly and severally liable for the mediator's costs, fees and expenses.
6. Where a party privately discloses to the mediator any information in confidence or any legally privileged material before, during or after the mediation, the mediator will not disclose that information to any party without the consent of the party disclosing it, unless a. There is significant risk to the life, health or safety of children, the mediator or anyone else or b. He/she is ordered to do so by the court.
7. Finance and Property Mediation only During the course of mediation the parties agree that: a. They will make a full, frank and true disclosure of finances and provide all supporting documentation. b. They will not transfer, charge, conceal or otherwise dispose of any assets except for the purpose of providing for living necessities and expenses in the ordinary course of business. c. They will not make any further charges under any charge account for which both of them are legally responsible, unless mutually agreed upon. d. Financial disclosures are made on the basis that they are confidential to SMS but may be disclosed to the parties solicitors and may be used in evidence in court.
8. The parties will only communicate with the mediator about issues in mediation during sessions, unless it is agreed otherwise. All emails should include both parties. No telephone communication is allowed between the mediator and either party, to protect the impartiality of the mediator.
9. If one of the parties is unable to keep a scheduled appointment, he/she will notify the other party and SMS at least 24 hours in advance. If less than 24 hours notice is given they agree to pay the full cost of one hour of mediation.
10. The parties acknowledge that at no time will they receive financial, legal or other advice from the mediators. They acknowledge that they have been informed of the advantages of having separate solicitors to whom they will refer before, during and at the end of the mediation as appropriate. Fixed fee legal advice packages and financial advisors are available through SMS.
11. If a MoU is prepared, the parties acknowledge that it is not a binding agreement. They can instruct their solicitors, or the solicitors of SMS, to prepare a legally binding document.
12. Changes to documentation: (i) Factual errors should be notified to the mediator who will amend them. (ii) Changes to the agreement, to which both parties agree, should be sent back to the mediator for the documents to be changed. (iii) Where parties cannot agree on changes, they must return to mediation.
13. If difficulties should arise in consultation with the solicitors, the parties will notify the mediator of the need for further discussions.
14. No refunds can be given once SMS has briefed their solicitor to commence work on behalf of the clients.
15. Should you opt for an SMS fixed fee package, our solicitor can only act for and take instruction from the petitioner. The solicitor can only work from the signed MoU and agreed Open Financial Statement. Changes made once the solicitor has been briefed by SMS will incur additional costs and may require you to return to mediation. The respondent solicitor can only act for and take instruction from the respondent.
16. No documents, notes or legal forms can be released until all monies due to SMS have been settled. If an invoice remains unpaid, interest and an administration charge of £50 will be added to the invoice.
17. Any ‘unused hours’ of a fixed fee package can be used at any point within the first 12-month of the MoU being signed.
MediateUK Ltd t/a Surrey Mediation Service Registered in England - 09799609 270 London Road, Wallington, Surrey SM6 7DJ