UK Commercial Mediation Market grows 20% – 2018 CEDR Mediation Audit Findings

August 22, 2018

In the last 12 months there has been an increase of 20% in commercial mediations

The Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) has released the results of its Mediation Audit 2018 (the audit is conducted every 2 years), based on a survey of practicing mediators in the UK, alongside a survey of lawyers using mediation, providing a useful client perspective.

In the last 12 months, 12,000 commercial mediations (excluding small claims mediations) were performed, an increase of 20% compared to 2016. The estimated value of commercial claims mediated was £11.5 billion.

The audit is the eighth biennial survey CEDR has conducted in the last 16 years (in conjunction with the Civil Mediation Council).

The audit demonstrates a number of interesting trends in civil and commercial mediation in the UK, some of the key findings from the Audit are as follows:

  • Scheme-related activity (i.e. organised mediation systems such as NHS Resolution, the County Court Mediation Pilots and the Court of Appeal scheme) grew by 45% since 2016 and now accounts for 4,500 cases or 37.5% of all mediation activity. In contrast, ad-hoc referrals of individual cases has shown more modest growth – up 9% since 2016.
  • The overall success rate of mediation remains high with an aggregate settlement rate of 89% (86% in 2016) – The proportion of cases that achieve settlement on the day of mediation is 74% and the proportion of cases that settle shortly after mediation is at 15%.
  • Looking at trends in mediation, 25% of all comments referred to an increasing resistance to joint meetings at the start of a mediation day. However, a number of mediators report seeing an increase in joint meetings between lawyers and/or clients later on in the course of the mediation.
  • Around 200 individuals are involved in around 85% of all non-scheme commercial cases (an average of nearly 40 cases each). The size of this group has grown from the 145 reported in 2016, suggesting that more competition is developing.
  • The proportion of female respondents remains at the same level as in 2016 at 35%. Women remain under-represented in the Advanced group, 24%, down from 29% in 2016. Only 10% of respondents categorised themselves as being from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups.


Please do not hesitate to contact John Evans should you wish to discuss our mediation services further.

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