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FAQ

  • What is mediation?
    Mediation is a voluntary, confidential and private dispute resolution process in which a neutral person, the mediator, helps the parties to reach their own negotiated settlement agreement. The mediator has no power to impose a settlement. His/Her function is to overcome any impasse and encourage the parties to reach an amicable settlement. The mediator will encourage the parties to reach an agreement themselves as opposed to having it imposed upon them. Mediation has proven an outstandingly successful management tool for resolving difficult disputes. It is a means by which the parties can re-learn the basis of communication with which they can then resolve future disputes. This is particularly important in family disputes where invariably there are ongoing issues to be resolved including child custody among other matters. In commercial disputes an impasse most often arises from either a lack of trust in the integrity of the other party or a genuine good faith difference of opinion on the facts underlying the dispute or on the probable outcome of the case were it to go to court. If necessaary, the mediator may act as a shuttle diplomat and a channel for communication, by filtering out the emotional elements and allowing the parties to focus on the underlying objectives.
  • What is the role of the mediator?
    The mediator does not evaluate; nor act as an judge / adjudicator to the dispute. The mediator is obliged to act fairly, show no bias, maintain impartiality, disclose conflicts of interest, and be transparent about the mediation process. The mediator facilitates communications between the parties with a view to explore and clarify the issues disputed, to provide a safe environment for parties to air their concerns around the issues, and to find solutions acceptable to the dispute parties.
  • How does mediation work?
    Each party will have an initial individual and confidential meeting with the mediator. This meeting is for each party to more clearly understand our mediation process; as well as for us to understand the disputes. After each party's initial individual interview, joint meetings take place with participation of all parties and chaired by the mediator. In these joint meetings, parties identify and clarify their disputes, their concerns behind the disputes and explore various options to resolve their disputes. During these joint sessions, parties are free to request private individual sessions. All sessions are confidential, legally priviledged and not legally binding until an agreement is signed. The mediator will help parties to identify and clarify their needs, concerns and issues. The mediator will also help parties expand their options in order to achieve a mutually acceptable agreement. The goal is to identify and reach agreement on the solutions acceptable to all parties. Independent legal and/or financial advice throughout the mediation process is encouraged. If desired by the parties, a written agreement is prepared setting out all decisions and agreements made by the parties. Mediators do not make decisions for the parties, nor do they provide legal or counselling services.
  • How long does mediation take?
    We will start with a single individual session of about 1 hour for each party to attend privately and confidentially. This will be the minimum number of sessions required. Subsequent to these individual sessions, if all parties are ready to continue with the mediation, then joint sessions of between 1 to 3 hours can be scheduled in which all parties will attend and chaired by the mediator. Subsequent private and confidential individual sessions may also be scheduled by any party. There is no set number of sessions. It depends on the complexity of the issues and all parties motivation and willingness to stay in mediation until issues are partially or wholly resolved. Our mediators will continue to work with the parties so long as they all wish to continue the mediation and as long as our mediators think that a positive outcome is possible.
  • How much do you charge for mediation services?
    Mediation Session Fees (scaled according to financial situation) Mediation Fees (significant reduction) Fees per Hour of $500 for individual sessions (paid by the attending party) and joint session (apportioned between the parties equally) for a family mediator accumulating experience required from accreditation at the HK Mediation Accreditation Association Ltd and under the supervision of a family mediation supervisor accredited by the HK Mediation Accreditation Association. In addition to the mediator, the presence of a family mediation supervisor at all mediation sessions is mandatory. Additional Fees For administration: Emailing, telephoning and texting for administration and appointment purposes will be charged at $300 per $15 minutes. This charge will be collected at termination of the mediation. A maximum charge will be 2 hours unless prior notice of additional time charge is given to clients. For drafting documents: A "per page" charge of $1000 per A4 normal font single space page for initial drafting and subsequent substantial amendments. “Substantial amendment” means any change to the general principles or structure of the settlement or the amount of details required (excluding typing or grammar errors, or change in numbers or dates). Apportionment of Fees between the parties Each party is responsible for their Individual Session fees. The liability to pay for Joint Sessions and Additional Fees are apportioned equally between the parties, or in the manner as they may agree. Cancellation, Rescheduling & Refunds 24 hours prior written notice is required for any cancellation or rescheduling of any session; failing which full fees are charged to the requesting party (who shall also be responsible for the other parties' share of any joint session fees). No refund or reduction in fees for meetings ending earlier than the scheduled time duration.
  • How confidential is the mediation?
    Our mediators are required by the HK Mediation Code to keep confidential all information arising out of, or in connection with, the mediation unless compelled by law or public policy grounds. Any information disclosed in confidence by one party shall not be disclosed to the other parties without prior permission; except in situations of actual or potential threat to human life or safety. And all such information are "without prejudice" to the legal rights of the parties in any potential or actual litigation. All mediation communications are confidential in the manner dictated by the law under the Mediation Ordinance, Cap.620.
  • Can I stop the mediation at any time?
    Mediation is a voluntary process. Any party (including the mediator) has the right to suspend or terminate the mediation at any time. Our mediator may enquire about the decision to terminate for feedback and better future service provision. A party is not obliged to state any reasons for termination.
  • What are the advantages of mediation?
    Creates a supportive and constructive environment Enables the parties to control the outcome of their dispute Promotes communication between the parties Time efficient and cost effective Confidential process Helps to teach the parties an effective way of resolving disputes through co-operative decision making Not an imposed settlement
  • What happens if parties reach agreement?
    Parties cannot be forced to sign any agreement. If required by the parties, the mediator, or the lawyers of the parties, draws up the settlement agreement based on the agreed terms of the parties. Should you wish for our mediators to draft the agreement, additional charges apply for the time spent in drafting and amending, and in any communications or meetings regarding the drafts. Divorce settlement agreements are generally not legally binding until the Family Court endorses them or makes court orders based on the agreement. Settlements may be set aside for failure to provide full and frank financial disclosure by divorcing parties.
  • Do I need a lawyer?
    Obtaining legal advice from your lawyer and participation of your lawyers are encouraged before or during the mediation. Lawyer may join in the mediation meetings on such terms and conditions as may be agreed between the parties. Our mediators can also maintain communications with your lawyer, should you authorized the mediator to do so. Both your lawyers and our mediators will charge for their services rendered to you during the mediation process; and this includes any communications which your lawyers will have with our mediators and to which you have given your consent.
  • I'm ready to try mediation, what do I do?"
    1. Please contact all other disputing parties and obtain their consent to participate in mediation. 2. Download our Agreement to Mediate(in our website) and see if you agree to its terms and conditions. 3. Go to our "Contact Us" link in the main menu of this website and submit electronically the New Client On-line Contact Form. 4. Book a first session (individually for each disputing party) with us. 5. Decide whether to proceed to joint sessions in which all disputing parties participate. 6. Keep an open mind and be prepared to compromise to find mutually acceptable solutions.
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