Bundles - How to create a Bundle for a Mediation

A Mediation is a meeting, usually lasting half a day or a day, attended by the parties and by their barristers, and conducted by a professional mediator whose fees are shared between the parties.

A mediator, unlike a judge or arbitrator, does not have the power to impose a settlement - there can be no binding settlement unless both parties agree terms - but the role of the mediator is to see if it is possible, by discussions with the parties - mostly separately initially - to bring the parties to agreement on a settlement.

Although a mediator is not a judge it is, nevertheless, usual to prepare a "bundle" in much the same way as a trial bundle would be prepared for a trial before a judge. In a Bundle every page has a page number and there is an index at the front - really a table of contents - listing every document and its page number. Sufficient identical copies are produced for everyone at the mediation. 

Typical arrangement of sections in a Mediation Bundle

Typically a mediation bundle will be arranged in the following sections:

The Index at the front will list every document in the Trial Bundle, giving the date of the document, a brief description, and the page number. The purpose of the Index is, of course, to enable everyone to quickly find a document they are looking for, but, because the index is large, it is also important that the documents are arranged in the bundle in logical order so that the index (which, of course, lists them in the the same order) is easy to use - i.e. it should be possible to guess roughly where a document is likely to appear in the index so that, in most instances, it is not necessary to search all the way though a long index.

Case Summary The first section contains documents which summarise and explain what the case is about and the main contentions of the parties. In order to save costs, it is usual, rather than drafting a Case Summary specially for the mediation, to use documents which have already been produced. It may be that there has already been one hearing before a court/tribunal and that a Case Summary used for that hearing can be used. Other documents which may be useful in summarising what the case is about can be included such as a List of Issues or Chronology or a pre-action Letter of Claim and response, or skeleton arguments produced for a previous hearing.     

Pleadings - otherwise known as "statements of case".  These are the documents which were drafted by each party's barrister at the outset which set out, in summary and often in a technical legal manner, what each party alleges.

Costs Documents The legal costs incurred so far, and the likely future legal costs, are important considerations when any settlement is being considered. Detailed costs documents such as invoices are not needed in a mediation bundle, but documents from the other side which summarise their costs (such as costs budgets and statements of costs incurred and estimated for the future) should be included if they have been sent to you. Likewise if you have already sent documents summarising your own costs to the other side, these should be included. However if your costs, incurred and estimated, are low compared to the other side's costs (e.g. because the other side is using expensive solicitors whereas you are a litigant in person) and you have not already sent a summary of them to the other side, you might decide to tell the mediator in confidence what your costs are but not reveal them to the other side, at least not initially. In this case you would not include your costs documents in the mediation bundle.  

Offers Often there will have been unsuccessful attempts to settle in the past and offer letters and responses can be included. Unlike in the case of a trial bundle - which must not include without prejudice offers as the judge must not see these before judgment -  at a mediation, past without prejudice communications can be included, as everything which happens in a mediation is on a without prejudice basis.  

Evidence Although it is not the role of the mediator to act as a judge, some indication of the key evidence which each party relies on can be useful in the mediation process, so the documentary evidence which would ordinarily be included if you were producing a Trial Bundle - or at least the most important documents if there are hundreds of documents - would be included here. Any witness statements or expert reports which have not yet been seen by both parties (because the date for exchange is in the future) would not be included.

If the documentary evidence is voluminous there is generally no need to include it all but equally there is no point in having a dispute between the parties as to what to include. Anything which a party wants included should be included. The mediator will not read everything as a matter of course but anything which either party might want to refer to, and point out, during the mediation, should be included.

Inadmissible evidence  Some documents (e.g. without prejudice communications) are not admissible as evidence before a court or tribunal but there is no reason why they cannot be included in a mediation bundle if either party regards them as important.


Creating the Bundle as a PDF

Use CaseLines DCS  to create the bundle in PDF form. You should create a new DCS case for the bundle (call it e.g. Smith v Jones - Mediation Bundle). Probably most of the PDFs you want to include in it will already be in other Caselines cases so you can simply download them from there and reload them to the mediation bundle. Once you have loaded the PDFs into the mediation bundle case, production of the indexed and paginated bundle in PDF Form is automatic and you just tap the Bundle Index button and the button for each section to download PDFs containing the index (which will go at the front) and each section of the bundle. 

Agreeing the content of the Mediation Bundle with the other side

If possible the Mediation Bundle should be agreed with the other side so that there is only a single bundle (multiple copies of course - one for everyone - but all copies of an identical single bundle) but this is not absolutely essential and each side could provide its own bundle (but, of course, with sufficient copies for everyone else who will be at the mediation). 

If you were producing a Trial Bundle and agreeing it with the other side, it would be important to take steps to guard against possible disreputable gamesmanship by the other side, and you probably would not want to allow the other side to directly add to, or change anything in, the bundle (you would want to keep control over any changes they request and make sure they cannot "slip anything in"). However, for a mediation, people tend to be on their best behaviour, because they both want to achieve a settlement if possible, so you may decide, to save time, to simply grant the other side the ability to add additional documents direct to the Mediation Bundle in DCS, and invite them to upload any additional documents they wish to be included (it is worth setting "send bundle update notifications by Email" so that you are informed when a section is changed). If you do grant the other side access, however, it is important to freeze the bundle at an agreed stage, so that no further changes can be made (i.e. change the other side's access to read-only) before copies of the bundle are printed out, to ensure that at the mediation (and in preparing for it, for example when producing position papers which refer to documents by bundle page number) everyone is working from an identical copy of the bundle.

Printing out and assembling the Bundle

1. Click on Download Bundle Index button as shown below, then click on each section button below that button to download all the section PDFs. 

2. If you have a suitable fast colour printer which can print double-sided you might choose to print out the bundle PDFs on your own printer or, alternatively, you might use a high street print shop to do this for you. The index PDF should be printed single-sided and the section PDFs should be printed double-sided. Be careful to ensure that A3 (and larger) pages are printed on the correct size paper and either fold them or use a larger binder for them. A3 pages should be printed single-sided. The bundle must be printed in colour: this is not only because some pages may contain photographs or colour-coded plans but because the page number on every page is in red and red printed in greyscale can be difficult to see.

3. When you have printed out the bundle pages, hole punch them and file them in one or more lever arch file/ring binders, depending on how many pages there are. 

4. The very first page of the Index PDF might be a title page giving the name and number of the case and the title of the bundle (e.g. Mediation Bundle) in tramlines. The first page filed should always be the first page of the Index (i.e. the second page of the PDF if the first page of the PDF is a title page) so that the index can be seen immediately on opening the file without having to turn over a page which merely contains the title of the case.  If there is an initial page containing only the title it is intended to be stuck on the outside of the front cover of the volume, though you can write your own sticky label to put on the front of the volume, containing the same information, if that is easier, rather than use any title page. As well as sticking the title page to the front (or using a sticky label on the front) you should put a sticky label on the outside spine with the case number and case name in large writing. 

5. Repeat steps 2 to 4 above to produce several identical copies of the bundle.

Inserting new pages/documents into a Mediation Bundle after it has been sent out

You should ensure that the bundle is complete before copies are sent out but if you discover, after some or all of the copies of the bundle have been sent out, that a document, or a page of a document, has been missed out, steps need to be taken to insert the additional document(s)/page(s) in the same position in all copies of the bundle, including those already sent out, because the copies of the bundle used by the mediator and by the parties and their barristers need to be absolutely identical. It is also essential that the new documents/pages are page-numbered in a way which does not disturb the existing page numbering of the bundle. (This is because each party’s barrister, and the mediator, may already have started to prepare for the mediation, using the page numbers of documents. It would cause confusion if the page numbers change.) So you should use sub-numbering for the additional pages to be inserted. For example, if the extra document to be inserted is a two page purchase order dated just after (and therefore to be inserted immediately after) a three page quotation which is on pages 136, 137 and 138, then the first page of the purchase order would be numbered 138a and the second page would be numbered 138b. 

If an entire document or documents have been missed out and need to be inserted  see here for sub-numbering instructions using CaseLines DCS. If just one or two pages of a document have been missed out (not the whole document) DCS does not provide a sub-numbering facility in this situation so you will need to manually number additional pages in paper form and insert them in all hardcopies of the bundle.


This information page is mainly designed to be used by clients of John Antell who have entered into an agreement for the provision of legal services, with the intention that it be used in conjunction with specific advice to the individual client about the individual case. If you are not a client please bear in mind that in order to be reasonably concise I have had to leave some details out - details which are likely to affect what the procedural law would say about your own situation, so please do not rely on the above but contact me for advice.

The information on this page about specific computer techniques is provided for information purposes only. Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate and up to date at the time it was written but no responsibility for its accuracy, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by me. You should satisfy yourself, before using any of the techniques, software or services described, that the techniques are appropriate for your purposes and that the software or service is reliable.

This page was lasted updated in February 2018. Disclaimer