Civil Mediator of the Year – UK

Greater London and East Anglia mediation LLP (GLEAMED) provides dispute resolution services throughout East Anglia and the adjacent London Boroughs.

We are registered by the Civil Mediation Council and Family Mediation Council, approved by the Ministry of Justice, hold a Legal Aid Agency contract for family mediation and meet their associated Mediation Quality Mark standard.

We provide civil, commercial, family (including publicly funded), workplace, employment and community mediation. We also offer international mediation, training and mediation awareness presentations, and have links to the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex.

Our clients come from every walk of life and their disputes range from major business contractual, financial and governance issues down to the everyday problems we encounter in our daily lives with property, boundaries, consumer protection, building works, debts, probate, etc.

We are delighted that our work has been recognised by this prestigious award as it helps to increase the profile of mediation as an effective, efficient and relatively hassle-free process for resolving disputes. It has been our mission for some 8 years now to contribute to social cohesion by providing mediation services to the community in our area so that they can resolve disputes quickly before they become too acrimonious and divisive. The ideal outcome is that those who have been in dispute can pass each other in the street or elsewhere, without wanting to cross the road or otherwise avoid any encounter.

Mediation is often seen as a side-show to mainstream litigation and our main challenge is to make it the first choice. Initiatives to widen and increase the use of mediation come and go but never seem to really catch on. Mediation is much closer to the mainstream for dealing with family matters than with civil and commercial disputes and within the mediation community we need to build on the success being demonstrated in one sector to spread the benefits of mediation into others.

Attitudes to mediation in the civil and commercial sector remain divided between those who suspect it implies making concessions and therefore signals weakness, or that it will somehow undermine access to the law and litigation, and those who want to see the Courts being used as the place of last resort for dispute settlement. Policy seems to be steering a course in-between, based on making more information on mediation available so that individuals can make up their own mind about whether to try mediation or not. There is much debate about whether this should include making an information and assessment meeting with a mediator compulsory at an early stage of the legal process, as is the case in family matters, so those with a civil or commercial dispute can make a more informed choice on how to proceed.

GLEAMED is a boutique, pan-mediation provider with a committed and experienced team of mediators who share their experience from the different areas of mediation we cover for the benefit of their colleagues. Our clients benefit from this wider, more holistic background to our mediator’s work, which we believe ensures they receive the best possible service.

Our biggest constraint is in finding enough suitable and affordable venues around our extended area. We have good facilities in central London and Colchester but often have to find neutral venues elsewhere, closer to those concerned. These are not always offices – our Surveyor-Mediator recently completed his site visit and then handled the mediation very successfully in a hard hat in the site under construction that was the source of the dispute. Travel arrangements are another consideration, given the size of our area, as mediators may face a long journey home after an extended and tiring mediation, making public transport or an overnight stay more appropriate than self-driving late at night.

Mediation is a voluntary, private and confidential process offering a faster and less expensive way of resolving disputes than going to court, in which the participants negotiate a settlement acceptable to all concerned, facilitated by a neutral, trained and experienced mediator. Disputes can be referred to us by individuals, firms, organisations, solicitors or the courts and more information is available on our website at, by email to or by telephone from +44 (0) 1206 217133.

Company: Greater London
and East Anglia Mediation LLP
Name: Tom Thomas
Address: St. Martin’s House,
63 West Stockwell Street,
Colchester, CO1 1HE,
and Coram Chambers,
9-11 Fulwood Place, London,
Phone: +44 (0) 1206 217133