Mediation in business disputes set to double
Attempts to resolve commercial disputes by mediation are set to double over the next year as businesses seek a cheaper and faster alternative to litigation, according to a new survey by the Irish Commercial Mediation Association (ICMA).
The key advantages to mediation were found to be cost (saving up to 70% on litigation), speed, control, and preservation of business relationships. The survey found that mediation was most widely used in family businesses and construction disputes followed by partnership conflicts and property issues.
The typical commercial mediation process will involve a number of steps:
- Pre-mediation meetings, telephone conversations and correspondence with each party. This enables the mediator to obtain a history of the conflict to date and gain an understanding of the perspective of each party. The Mediator will also explain the process and ascertain the willingness and suitability of the parties to mediate.
- A signed agreement to mediate.
- Submission and by agreement, circulation of all necessary documentation and position statements.
- An initial joint meeting at which the positions of both parties are outlined. This is then followed by separate shuttle mediation sessions. These typically take place over a day with agreed starting and finishing times.
- The mediation usually takes place over one day. However, more complex issues may require a longer period of mediation to enable agreement to be reached.