What is Commercial Mediation?
In any relationship, including a commercial one, events occur which may cause friction, misunderstandings, mis-perceptions, distrust etc. Therefore there is a wide range of disputes possible in commercial relationships. When they occur it is vital that they are dealt with in a timely, respectful and cost effective manner. Commercial mediation has a proven track record in this area. Choosing a mediator who is experienced and practiced in commercial matters and who may have substantive knowledge of the matter in hand is important.
Choose Your Own Solution
Mr Justice Peter Kelly, who was long time head of the Commercial Court in Ireland, routinely suggested mediation to the parties before him. He understood that the parties will choose a solution for themselves which will suit their need to resolve their difficulty in the short term, and maintain their relationship into the future. This is probably the most important advantage of commercial mediation. It is easier to retain a customer than to find a new one, and most business people know this.
Many commercial contracts will have a clause inserted indicating the dispute resolution mechanism to be employed in the event of a conflict. This can be Litigation, Arbitration or Mediation.
Advantages of mediation:
- Can usually be arranged in a timely manner – no delay – reduces cost.
- Cost effective – most mediation can be completed in one day.
- Confidential – no washing the dirty linen in public, courts are a public forum.
- Control of the decisions – nothing imposed.
- Relationships can be maintained, even improved.
- Flexible, mutually satisfactory solutions.
- Experts may be included in the process.
- Agreements can be road tested – legalised – or adjusted if necessary.
- Mediation is private law.
A Day in Court
Mediation is truly a ‘day in court’ where each side to the dispute is heard thoroughly. As a result, every issue is discussed in detail, and options for settlement are explored, clarified and reality-tested, rather than being imposed as would happen in the court system.