Mediation Tip: Gain Credibility & Respect

A couple of recent mediations have highlighted a (poor) tactic.  At some stage financial offers usually need to be made – typically by a Defendant (if there are proceedings).

Defendants will often have submitted a mediation position statement / brief and spoken during the opening session of how hopeless the case is.  To reinforce that view they will want to make a low offer (far below the likely settlement spectrum). 

Doing so is, I suggest, a poor tactic.  The aim of the negotiation process should be to have a credible position and gain respect.  Offering very low and coming up quickly is not credible nor does it gain respect – indeed the opposite can be the case.

Defendants should make a serious offer on a reasoned and dispassionate basis and then move slowly from there.  Starting too low can be a mistake.  The chance of overbidding (i.e. offering to pay at your first offer more than the Claimant would accept) is very rare.

Be bold – it will work!

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