Hynes’ mediation solutions help resolve strata related matters before they escalate.

Hynes Legal believes that in many cases, litigation can be avoided in strata disputes. Former Commissioner, Chris Irons shares this belief and has joined Hynes Legal to launch a structured and non-litigious mediation offering available to all Queensland strata stakeholders.

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What is Mediation

Mediation is an informal but structured collaborative process that allows parties to engage in dialogue to resolve an issue. It allows parties to try and sort out their issues in a controlled environment with a trained mediator, who if you engage us, was also previously the Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management, they will control and navigate the parties to an outcome.

Resolving a dispute quickly is the best way to get the issue out of your life. Formal proceedings commenced in any jurisdiction will only serve to escalate the issue.

It’s one thing to have a dispute at work or a run-in with someone at the shopping centre. You don’t live with them or have to engage with them as you do in a body corporate. You may not need to see them again, but that’s not the case if they are your neighbour.

Benefits of Mediation

  • Offers a structured and guided process of resolving difficult strata matters, mediated by former Commissioner for Body Corporate, Chris Irons.
  • Resolves strata issues before they escalate to Commissioner’s Office or QCAT.
  • Avoids lengthy delays while waiting for conciliation and/or adjudication hearings. Our mediation process can be wrapped up in as little as 2 weeks.
  • Parties agree to seek a genuine and harmonious outcome for everyone to move forward from.
  • Allows both parties remain in control of the outcome and are involved voluntarily. There is no judicial order in place to force the matter through.
  • Affords greater understanding of the underlying issues and gives an indication of the likely outcome if the matter is heard by the Commissioners Office.

Mediation Process

Our unique non-legal service offers a positive way forward for lot owners, strata members and Building Managers to resolve disputes without escalation to The Commissioner’s Office or QCAT.

Our mediator Chris Irons is professionally trained in evaluative mediation and dispute resolution. Chris also brings a wealth of experience to the table from his former role as Commissioner. Chris can give you an indication of the likely outcome if the matter was escalated to The Commissioners Office, as well as a more in-depth understanding of the challenges faced by both parties in resolving the matter.

The mediation process is broken down into 3 easy steps:

  • Submissions
  • Mediation
  • Agreement

Chris understands that regardless of your role or perspective, being involved in Body Corporate is not easy. He works with participants to not only discuss the matter at hand, but also to uncover any underlying or over-arching issues that may be inhibiting resolution.

Mediation Costs

The cost of Hynes Mediation solution is $6,000 + GST for a half day, or $10,000 + GST for a full day. Chris will help you determine which is more appropriate given the matter at hand.

Fees include:

  • Preparation time for reviewing your material prior to the mediation session.
  • Assisting both parties in understanding how best to prepare for the mediation.
  • Half day mediation session (4 hours) / Full day mediation session (8 hours).
  • Preparation of a document to sign once agreement is reached.

Please note: If room hire and/or travel is required this will be an additional cost. If mediation is no longer required and you would like to cancel we offer a 50% refund up to 7 days prior to your agreed session date and 25% refund up to 3 days prior to the agreed session date.

How does mediation work?

In very simple terms:

  • Both parties agree to participate and pay half the costs each;
  • Both parties get the chance to submit their point of view to the mediator well before the mediation;
  • We guide both parties around what they need to do to prepare to help get the best outcome on the day;
  • We conduct a structured mediation process at a neutral venue guiding the parties to reach an outcome – at which advisers like lawyers or support persons are welcome;
  • If an agreement is reached and that agreement is documented.

A mediation is conducted without prejudice, in confidence and informally. It cannot prevent later court proceedings but it hopefully means they will not be needed because the parties now understand each other’s position and have agreed on the way forward.

What type of disputes can be mediated?

Again, anything in strataland.

Pets, maintenance, corporate governance, decision process and caretaking disputes are the most common matters but with people living in close proximity to each other, there are hundreds of potential issues. The common theme is that the issue might not be worth millions of dollars, they are usually far more important than that to the people involved.

Why avoid litigation?

It costs money. It takes a long time. It is stressful. it creates further division in the community.  More importantly, you are not in control of the litigation process and you are not in control of the outcome.

Judicial officers like judges or adjudicators make decisions and will decide on who wins and who loses. That winner might not be you. Everyone thinks they will win their litigation, but half of the litigants are wrong. There is a loser every time. That is the way the litigation process works.

Undertaking mediation means that you are taking the first step to resolving the issue in a manner that will allow you to live peacefully with your neighbours in the future and be in control of the outcome.

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