Case Studies

Employment

 Donald was dismissed from his employment at the beginning of the pandemic. His employer refused to place him on furlough under the Job Retention Scheme. Donald presented claims to the Industrial Tribunal, asserting the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 were manifestly health and safety provisions and this meant his dismissal was automatically unfair. The mediator met both parties to discuss their issues, and then arranged for a half-day mediation. After successful mediation, the claim was settled for £30,000.00.

Suzanne was a director and Production Manager of a manufacturing company. She had led research and development into a prototype of a product for her employer. A boardroom conflict caused Suzanne to take leave of absence of 2 years on work-related stress, after which Suzanne’s employer’s dismissed her claiming the contract of employment was frustrated owing to her extended absence, and because her absence was holding up the production of the prototype. The mediator met Suzanne and then her employer on Zoom, and then arranged a full-day mediation in a local hotel, with both parties and their representatives. After mediation, Suzanne agreed to take early retirement as a Director and Production Manager, released the remaining data she held to allow the prototype to go into production, and received in excess of £150,000.00 compensation.

Contact

 Pam and Mark separated in early 2019.   They have two children, Owen now aged 8 and Katie now aged 6.    Mark promised the children that he would take them to Disneyland Paris for a week’s holiday at Hallowe’en 2019 but Pam would not agree insisting that all school breaks, including half-terms, should be shared equally between Mark and her.    Covid prevented any holiday abroad in 2020.  Mark was very anxious to fulfil his promise to the children for the Disneyland trip and asked Pam to agree that the trip could take place at Hallowe’en 2021.  Pam was annoyed that Mark had made the promise to the children without her approval and wanted to maintain the arrangement for equal sharing of all school breaks.

They agreed to mediate.

During the half-day’s mediation Mark accepted that he should have sought the agreement of Pam before making the Disneyland promise to the children in 2019.  Pam acknowledged that her refusal in 2019 had caused upset to the children but emphasised the need for Mark not to make unilateral decisions about the children.

Mark and Pam agreed a schedule of annual holiday arrangements including all school breaks with a provision for flexibility at mid-term breaks subject to agreement one month in advance. Pam agreed in principle that there could be a Disneyland visit at Hallowe’en 2021 (subject to  there being no Covid restrictions)

Pam said “I felt listened to and believe that Mark was more ready to accommodate my point of view. I was pleased that we were able to focus on the children rather than on each other”

Mark said “I had the opportunity to state my arguments and I think that both Pam and I learnt that we could compromise in the interests of our children”

Family

Linda and Tom had been married for 15 years.  Their marriage had broken down and this was affecting their children, Chloe (14) and Philip (16).

From 2010, Tom had set up several small companies that Linda had helped him with in the early days.  In 2019, Tom set up a very successful website design company for Linda.

During the pandemic one of Tom’s companies went into liquidation. Linda decided that was the ‘last straw’, told Tom she wanted a separation, and consulted a solicitor. Linda and Tom wanted an amicable, quick separation agreement that provided for their children and respected their wishes going forward.

Tom moved out of the family home in February 2021 and instructed his own solicitor.  It seemed to Linda that Tom was dragging everything out and was keeping the finances of the businesses a secret, yet Tom knew all the ‘ins and outs’ of her website business.  Tom felt that he had set Linda up with a great business, that she occupied the family home and the children were living with her.   had custody of the children.

Tom noticed Philip had become very withdrawn, and that Philip did not want to stay over with Tom some nights. Tom was very worried about Philip, who was coming up to sitting his GCSEs.

Linda suggested mediation and Tom agreed because he wanted to get things settled and move on and buy a permanent new house for himself. They contacted Concord Resolutions.

As they left Linda said, “I just can’t believe we have nothing to fight about now…it is such a relief”.

Construction

X Ltd was an electrical contractor that had sub-contracted from Y Ltd the electrical works for a new-build building. The value of the contract was £1.8 M.

From January 2021 onward, X Ltd had a lot of difficulty getting materials delivered from Germany, owing to Brexit. This caused delay, and the triggering of penalty clauses by Y Ltd. Y Ltd served a Writ on X Ltd for breach of contract, specific performance, and compensation.

X Ltd immediately contacted Concord Resolutions. A half-day mediation was arranged within 4 days. This mediation included the parent company of Y Ltd. The parties agreed to vary the terms of the sub-contract to allow X Ltd’s employees to work over weekends to get the installation programme back on track, subject to supervision and approval by an independent Project Consultant. Y Ltd agreed to withdraw their claim for penalty clauses and to withdraw its legal action against X Ltd.

These samples have been provided with the consent of  parties involved with the names and details amended to protect their identity and confidentiality.