Skip to content

Mediation Versus Litigation: What is the Best Option?

mediation versus litigation

Disputes of any kind can escalate the longer they go on, and the issue of mediation versus litigation always comes into question. They can become an extremely distressing and draining experience for those involved.

Individuals and businesses must decide on the best approach to find an appropriate resolution when faced with conflicts.

The key things to consider when deciding between mediation and legal proceedings are the length of the dispute and how severe the situation has become.

Mediation is an incredibly effective tool for resolving disputes. Still, it must be introduced before disputes cross the line of no return and emotions and perceptions reach such a place that an amicable resolution becomes impossible. Legal proceedings can often be the only remaining option when situations reach this point.

In this article, we’ll examine the benefits of each option, what they entail, and how to identify which option to explore. This depends on your personal situation or the current state of the case you’re working on in a professional capacity.

Mediation versus Litigation: Is Mediation a Collaborative Approach?

Mediation is a voluntary, confidential process in this specific mediation versus litigation question. It involves a neutral, third-party mediator who assists the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable resolution.

It encourages open communication and cooperation between the parties. The mediator doesn’t direct or suggest possible outcomes; they facilitate.

For mediation to work, both parties need to want it to work, and they need to immerse themselves in the process entirely.

Benefits of Mediation

It’s exceptionally effective when you turn to mediation before things get too ugly.


  • Preserves relationships
  • Reignites positive relationships
  • Eliminates misunderstandings
  • Creates positive perceptions of the other party’s situation
  • Empowers those involved
  • Creates sustainable solutions – people want to stick to agreements they created themselves
  • Is fast, efficient, and has a great success rate

Mediation versus Litigation: Is Litigation a Last Resort?

Litigation is a formal legal process in which parties present their case before a judge or jury, who then decides on a course of action. This adversarial approach often involves legal professionals advocating for each side.

As much as mediation is effective at the beginning of a dispute, litigation is frequently the only option when a case progresses too far for things to end amicably without legal intervention.

Benefits of Litigation

Litigation can typically be the only remaining option—a last resort. But by taking the power away from warring parties, a forced resolution is a resolution, and it puts the matter to bed, at least for the time being.


  • Creates legally binding arrangements
  • Provides clear-cut, enforceable actions
  • It can offer legal protection to allow people to move on from dangerous situations safely
  • Forces resolutions in cases where it has proved impossible to find one through other methods

Choosing the Right Path

A lot will depend on the characteristics of the individual case. A key question is whether you want to achieve an amicable or a forced outcome.

Is there a chance to save relationships, or are things too broken to be fixed? Are the parties capable of and willing to try to resolve their own conflict?

If so, mediation is cost-effective, fast, sustainable, and effective.

Litigation may be the answer if the parties cannot work together to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.

With litigation, you get the comfort of having a legally forced agreement. However, it can come with high costs. It can also be very time-consuming and slow from start to finish.

Your approach to dispute resolution will, therefore, depend heavily on the unique circumstances you face.

By carefully considering the nature of the dispute, desired outcomes, and practical considerations, you can make an informed decision and choose the right path.

Is Mediation the Answer For You?

Mediation is an approach you can try regardless of how far a case has progressed, despite it being more effective the earlier you implement it, and if it doesn’t work, you still have the legal route at your disposal.

At ADR Mediation, we offer a range of mediation services to help housing associations, communities, businesses, and individuals overcome disputes.

Call us at 01772 954602 or email to learn more about what we can do for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *