Arb Med (Arbitration-Mediation)

What is it?

Arb Med is a combination of arbitration and mediation. The order is important. First, you’d instruct an arbitrator who would direct that you attend mediation.

You attend mediation or hybrid mediation.

You can revert to the arbitrator if you can’t make a decision on the progress of the case (e.g. which expert to go to when valuing a business).

Usually, you will be successful in mediation. However, if you can’t resolve everything and need help on making a decision on one or two things then you go back to the arbitrator who will make the decision (or as they call it an award) for you.

You then obtain the legal documents you require e.g. a consent order.

Could this work for me?

Yes: if you want to sort out child and financial settlements. For married, civil partners and for those cohabiting.

Yes: if you want some certainty of outcome. Sometimes if mediation doesn’t work out you have to start again with solicitors starting to write to each other again. Or maybe having to start in arbitration, or even court.

Yes: if there is just one issue you want to mediate about e.g. what happens to a pet and you want to get a result.



  • Can be very quick with the arbitrator setting timescales.
  • Certainty: you will definitely have a decision maker making the decision if you can’t come to a conclusion yourselves.


  • You have to enter into the formalities of arbitration.
  • Cost. You have to pay the arbitrator as well as the mediator.
  • You may not like the arbitral award (the decision) but will be bound by it.

How do I prepare? 

  1. The same preparations as for arbitration and mediation.
  2. Again, as always look after yourselves. Can you spend some time with a family consultant or therapist to sort out the unhelpful emotions that are so keenly felt after a break up?

What other non-court options could this be used with?

It is already an amalgamation of two non-court processes. However, it would work really well with child inclusive mediation, to give children a voice here.

How do I find a mediator and an arbitrator who work this way?


  • The Certainty Project has been set up to make this easy: with a list of arbitrators and mediators who want to work in this way.
  • Or you can approach both a mediator and an arbitrator to see if they would assist:

for a list of mediators:

for arbitrators go to the IFLA website – ‘find an arbitrator’:

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