What's the Headline Cost?
"The cost calculation reads as too complicated", tweeted @filemot. "You need a headline figure."
Barbara Cookson should know. She's triply qualified as a patent attorney, trade mark attorney and solicitor. And she's very, very good. I often refer my public access clients to her and the last time I did so the client was so pleased that he sent me a ginormous bunch of flowers as a thank you.
Well the cost of a mediation like a lot of services is variable. But here goes.
On this site are two case histories of mediations by me:
I did them through other mediation service providers but I'd charge the same if the parties came to me through NIPC Mediation. I charged £500 for the trade mark dispute and just over £1,000 for the computer supply dispute. Added to that would be the hire of the venue which in both cases was free. That is because one mediation took place in my old chambers in Manchester and the other at a patent agent's offices in Leeds. Had we made the arrangements the Company would have charged another £100 for setting up the meeting and £25 for secretarial and other support. So the headline cost would have been £625 + VAT for the TM opposition and £1,125 for the computer supply dispute.
How does that compare with litigation? Well you would would have had to pay for an initial consultation with your solicitor at say £250 per hour. He or she may have referred it to counsel, say another £750. Counsel might have been instructed to settle a letter before claim £500. The solicitor would have wanted to consider it and maybe adapt it, say another £250. You would then have to give the other side at least 14 days to acknowledge your letter and maybe another 14 to make a full reply. Some more time considering it at £250 per hour. Perhaps some more letters would have been written or telephone calls made. If they produced no settlement you would have to issue a claim form which could be anything up to £1,530. Counsel would have to settle particulars of claim at perhaps another £750 and you would need to wait another 28 days or so for a reply. You would then be asked to fill in an allocation questionnaire which will ask you whether you want to stay the action for a month or so to try to settle the claim.
You can see the cost-effectiveness of mediation.
Why us rather than the hundreds of other mediators clamouring for your business? Well, we all have specialist skills and knowledge. I bring in my experience form 30 years at the Bar. Michael Swift, who was in Blayney v Clogau one of the leading cases on damages, brings in his massive experience as a forensic accountant and expert witness. And Peter Back brings all the expertise he gained from running the IPO's mediation scheme and as an IPO hearing officer. Secondly, we are all committed to the NIPC mission of bringing high quality specialist services to those who need them most but can often afford them least.