The cost of going to court is ever rising. People blame the lawyers but by far and away the biggest part of the fees are for the Court Service and expert witnesses. Court fees now are a massive disincentive to seek a remedy through the Court.

What are the options available to people who have a grievance with each other? Even lawyers now have to consider mediation before drawing the litigation pistol. The Court should be the last resort not the first.

A good mediator can bring about innovative solutions that would not be possible in a court. In a court one person wins and one loses. In a mediation there is a prospect of a solution where both feel that they have moved forward.

The great thing about mediation is that it is relatively cheap (about £500 for a day) and the solution is usually obtained on the day. Even if a result doesn’t happen on that day some problems resolve on later days that wouldn’t happen but for the mediator.

Mediation can be used for any dispute. Boundary or property disputes are especially likely disputes for mediation. Large fees, lots of emotion and long court cases are the home of boundary disputes when mediation can resolve the problem in a fraction of the time, a fraction of the cost and still leave it possible to speak to your neighbour.

Howard Nulty is a qualified mediator and solicitor.