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In Place of Strife

The Mediation Chambers

Court of Appeal urges neighbours to put their faith in the skills of experienced mediators

Thursday, 29th March 2012

Two recent cases, Oliver-v-Symons and Faidi-v-Elliot Corporation (15/16 March 2012), once more see senior judges emphasising the wastefulness of neighbour disputes. In particular, Lord Justice Ward gave particular encouragement to the use of mediation in such cases:

"All disputes between neighbours arouse deep passions and entrenched positions are taken as the parties stand upon their rights seemingly blissfully unaware or unconcerned that they are committing themselves to unremitting litigation which will leave them bruised by the experience and very much the poorer, win or lose. It depresses me that solicitors cannot at the very first interview persuade their clients to put their faith in the hands of an experienced mediator, a dispassionate third party, to guide them to a fair and sensible compromise of an unseemly battle which will otherwise blight their lives for months and months to come."

"Not all neighbours are from hell. They may simply occupy the land of bigotry. There may be no escape from hell but the boundaries of bigotry can with tact be changed by the cutting edge of reasonableness skilfully applied by a trained mediator. Give and take is often better than all or nothing".

 

Jonathan Ross, Head of Property Litigation at ForstersLLP, has written an article on these cases.

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