Jan O’Neill
Professional Support Lawyer, London


The Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) has released the results of its Mediation Audit 2018, based on a survey of practising mediators in the UK. (The results of parallel surveys of lawyer attitudes to mediation, and of US practitioners’ views, are to be published separately).

The audit is the eighth biennial survey CEDR has conducted in the last 16 years (in conjunction with the Civil Mediation Council).  The 2018 audit received 336 responses from UK mediators.

While it is important to bear in mind the empirical limitations of such reviews based on survey responses from a sample of market participants, the audit does indicate a number of interesting trends in civil and commercial mediation in the UK.  CEDR’s key findings from the responses include:

  • In the last 12 months, 12,000 commercial mediations (excluding small claims mediations) were performed, being an increase of 20% on 2016.  The estimated value of commercial claims mediated was £11.5 billion.
  • Scheme-related activity (ie. 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 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) – 74% achieving settlement on the day of mediation and 15% shortly after 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.


Jan O'Neill
Jan O'Neill
Professional Support Lawyer, London
+44 20 7466 2202