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Refresh your day and mediate your dispute away

MEDIATOR: Selina Morgan-Gayle

SELINA MORGAN-GAYLE is an award winning founder, owner and mediator of SMG Mediation Ltd services. SMG specialises in resolution through mediation, providing a high quality easy and accessible service.

Here The Voice newspaper speaks with Selina about her business...

What made you become a mediator?

I became a first time mum to my son in 2011. In the summer of 2012 I was made redundant from my position as a business development and human resources manager at a security firm. Although I was preparing to leave the role to pursue my career as a barrister at the time, this unexpected change put a lot of things in prospective, and reinforced that with a young child I needed stability, whilst still having flexibility in my career.

In June 2013 I studied the mediation course to highlight my CV and became an accredited civil and commercial mediator. It was then I truly realised the benefits of the mediation process to helping individuals and businesses in their legal disputes. This gave me the springboard to start my own mediation practice and in September 2014 SMG Mediation was born. This enabled me to achieve the much needed balance as a hands on mum and a passionate, professional for law.

What is the best part of being a mediator?

One of the great things about being a mediator is that it creates balance in peoples lives. But I will have to say the best part is having individuals and businesses contact me explaining their legal issue and giving me their immediate trust to assist them with their legal dispute. It is so warming to hear the relief in their voice when they are heard by a professional who has compassion and understanding about their dispute, whilst not being judged on the challenges they face. It is overwhelming to know that I can openly assist so many people with their legal issue, as this is something that most people shy away from discussing when they are experiencing it, especially in the black community.

What legal areas do you cover?

I am accredited civil and commercial mediator. My mediation practice covers a wide range of legal areas from civil, commercial, employment, workplace and family disputes. Involving contractual, landlord and tenant, employer and employee, business to business, services and products disputes, to name a few.

What are the benefits of mediation for individuals and businesses?

There are a multiple benefits for using mediation to resolve your legal disputes.

1. Voluntary: The court process is a mandatory decision made by the individual or business who brought the claim. Mediation is a request from the other side asking you to attend and resolve your dispute, by which you have the choice to accept or refuse.

2. Cost effective: legal disputes can be very costly as court costs and legal fees from solicitors can mount up, especially when it is taken to court. By using mediation the fees are equally shared between the parties involved, which significantly reduces the cost.

3. Speedier: It can be very time consuming for individuals and businesses to take their disputes through court. On average a case going to court can be heard between three months up to two years depending on the value of the claim and the complexity of the issues. By using mediation your dispute can be resolved in a matter of hours or up to a day.

4. Private: Most individuals, especially businesses know at some point they may find themselves in a legal dispute. But nobody chooses to share their issues publicly. Making a claim in court becomes public knowledge, whereas having a mediation, only the mediator and the parties involved have knowledge of this.

5. Confidential: Any decision made in court is accessible public knowledge. Mediation allows a settlement only to be discussed with the mediator and agreed between the parties. All are bound by confidentiality, not even a judge can subpoena the mediator or parties to disclose the agreement made in a mediation.

6. Without prejudice: If mediation did not resolve all the issues and the parties decide to continue their legal dispute in court. Any offers or concessions made during the mediation can not be used against the parties in court.

7. Rebuilds relationships: Due to the length of time in the court process, it can diminish relationships. Mediation can quickly rebuild them as the process can be resolved within a day, restoring any dented or broken relationships.

8. Improves relationships: Mediation is a good way to improve existing relationships and can also be used before, during and after occurrence of a legal issue and court proceedings.

9. Reduces stress: As mentioned the lengthy court process can create a mental or physical strain on a individual or business. Mediation can reduce these levels, as the efficiency in the resolution provides a welcoming stress relief.

10. Settlement: In court the decision is at the hands of a judge, who can only make a decision on the evidence of the case based on law. Mediation allows the parties to choose exactly how they settle their dispute, making the resolution and terms of the agreement a more favourable, party led controlled and satisfactory to all parties to the dispute involved.

What makes SMG Mediation unique to other mediation services?

When choosing SMG Mediation as your mediator you are guaranteed to get the four P’s; Passion, Positivity, Productivity and Perseverance – daily mantra we exercise.

We also provide free 30 minutes consultations to first time individuals and businesses wishing to discuss their legal dispute. This can be booked through our accessible online scheduling booking system. Allowing you to choose a convenient discussion time. We are a 5* rating mediation service on all social platforms and an industry award-wining mediation champion of the year 2018, making us a great choice for a mediation service.

What’s next for SMG Mediation?

I will be a speaker at the Black Young Professionals Network (BYP) Leadership Conference on September 3 2019, a workshop speaking on practicing mindfulness in the workplace. I will also be exhibiting at The Voice Business Fair on December 7 2019. I am a finalist for Best Business Woman in Legal Services 2019 by the Best Business Women Awards. I have goals to grow the business further, by providing books, seminars and workshops on mediation practices for individuals and businesses, making it more informative and accessible to their business and personal lives.

Contact:
SMG Mediation Ltd
T: 0207 406 1456
M: 07951 329 226
W: www.smgmediation.co.uk

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