QuestGates, the leading specialist loss adjuster, is presently trialling various initiatives in response to the anticipated MOJ reforms, including a pilot with Validus of their Go2 Mediation service developed to provide an innovative online liability mediation service to reduce elapsed times and hence costs.
Validus suggests that the Go2 mediation service can save insurers thousands of pounds per claim compared to traditional mediation costs, cutting the time for dispute resolution significantly from an average of three months to just three weeks. Chaired by an experienced mediator, fully accredited by the Civil Mediation Council, the platform recreates the look and feel of a traditional mediation with ‘common rooms’ and ‘private rooms’ made available online.
Clive Roberts, Liability Services Manager of QuestGates, comments: “The Civil Procedure Rules requires parties to consider alternative dispute resolutions (ADR) before issuing court proceedings, and the Jackson Reforms will ensure that focus is maintained on promoting the use of ADR. Traditional mediation can be expensive and time consuming; just getting all parties and expert witnesses involved in a claim to be physically together in one room at the same time can prove to be a logistical nightmare in itself. Taking mediation online is so much more convenient for everyone involved and speeds the process up at a fraction of the cost. Whilst we do not yet have sufficient data to reach any conclusions the initial results have been very interesting with cases being concluded quicker at a lower average cost but with over half of the invitations to participate being refused by claimants’ representatives. It will be interesting to see the attitude that the courts take to this, given the intention of the reforms to encourage ADR.
“Whilst there will always be a place for face to face mediation on the more complex claims, our initial results suggest that on smaller less complex liability claims online mediation is an ideal solution for everyone, whilst for defendants their position is protected in terms of economics and conduct should the matter litigate. QuestGates prides itself on its innovative approach and the initial results from our partnership with Validus on liability disputes are encouraging.”