Belfast Telegraph

Why mediation is always the better way to solve problems

Dorcas Crawford, senior partner at Edwards & Co. Solicitors
Dorcas Crawford, senior partner at Edwards & Co. Solicitors

After over 20 years as a litigation lawyer and several years conducting Northern Ireland's longest running civil trial, Dorcas Crawford, senior partner at Edwards & Co. Solicitors, began to re-evaluate the whole area of dispute resolution and concluded that there was a 'better way'. She trained as a mediator with the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) in London in 2008 and has since conducted numerous commercial mediations, later adding specialist areas of workplace mediation, boardroom conflict and mediation and facilitation training to the services she provides.

In 2016 the CBI estimated that conflict costs UK businesses £33bn a year, a cost businesses can ill afford.

Dorcas says: "In addition to the financial cost to an organisation, the implications of conflict and dispute for the people involved can be destructive, depressing and debilitating. When left unresolved, disputes can paralyse an organisation.

"They can also escalate into costly litigation which leaves reputation and relationships beyond repair."

Having identified the need among clients for a more constructive solution, Dorcas launched The Better Way - a unique service aimed at preventing, diagnosing and resolving disputes through education, facilitation and mediation.

"Prevention is, without doubt, better than cure and is the best possible way to deal with conflict in an organisation. Learning to recognise the early signs of a dispute before it escalates is the aim of our education service which provides tailored training sessions for board members, trustees, senior management teams and HR professionals," Dorcas says.

"For contractual disputes mediation is faster, cheaper and more effective than litigation."

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