The IT sector is being encouraged to avoid the law courts when it comes to solving problems that arise from large infrastructure projects.
Mediators say many projects evolve differently from their early conception. This may be in response to changing technology or the need to adapt to unforeseen circumstances.
Amanda Bucklow, mediator and member of the In Place of Strife mediation chambers, said, "Mediation is a cost effective and proven process in resolving disputes without the need for court action. The specification for a project is the key thing.
"Companies often create a limited spec and find that as the project progresses, amendments have to be made to adjust the spec and this nearly always drives up the cost. Then both companies find they are out of budget and on their way to the courts."
She said, "Mediation is ideal, but not everyone understands the concept. I have been able to produce solutions that avoid adversarial conflict and keep all parties out of court, but not out of pocket."
Mediation allows the parties involved to agree the final outcome between them and is entirely private, avoiding unwelcome publicity.
If no settlement is achieved at mediation, they can still take it to the courts later.