What is business Mediation
To find out all you need to know about business mediation, business dispute resolution and corporate mediation, read our FAQs below.
Q: What is Business Mediation?
Business mediation is an affordable and efficient means of problem-solving between two disputing parties. Cooperation, rather than conflict, is the sole focus of the process and to aid with this, parties meet in a neutral setting with an impartial mediator present. From there, the mediator will help to consider the issues and options with the parties to reach an agreement. After the dispute is settled, both parties can sign documents agreeing to the outcome.
Q: When would you use Business Mediation?
Litigation requires lawyers, legal documentation and, often, court appearances. This is a costly process that can be avoided if both parties agree to mediate. Examples of successfully mediated disagreements include:
- Boundary disputes
- Contract disputes
- Financial disputes
- Insurance disputes
- Intellectual property (IP) disputes
- Tax disputes
Q: What can you expect at a Mediation?
Disputing parties will agree on an impartial mediator, a time and a neutral setting in which to meet. From there you can expect business mediation to follow this structure:
- Introduction: the mediator will explain the rules and the mediation process to each party.
- Statements by parties: a representative from each party is allowed the opportunity to describe the dispute.
- Identification of the dispute: the mediator will ask questions in turn to better understand the situation.
- Private meetings: the mediator invites each party to a private meeting to better understand their perspective of the dispute and to assess possible solutions.
- Negotiation: the mediator will assist the parties to reach an agreeable solution.
- Written agreements: When the parties reach a resolution, the mediator puts this agreement in writing that is understood by both parties. They will then be asked to sign the document and this closes the business mediation process.
Q: Why Mediate instead of Litigate?
Litigation signals that disputing parties are in open conflict. Mediation, on the other hand, aims to preserve business relationships and has both parties mutually contribute to a satisfactory solution.
In cases of litigation, the parties are represented in court with a lawyer as a proxy. This is not the case with mediation, whose focus is on constructive dispute resolution. By the end of the process, both parties should be content with the settlement that has been agreed.
Mediation also represents a significant financial saving. If a mutual agreement can be reached with the help of a single, impartial mediator, the cost will be a fraction of the equivalent litigation. For small businesses especially, this makes mediation invaluable.
Q: What outcomes can you expect from Mediation?
No matter what the problem, whether it’s a boundary, contractual or financial dispute, business mediation aims to resolve the issue to the satisfaction of each party. After a number of mediation sessions, you will walk away with an agreement that has been put in writing by your mediator and signed by all present at the mediation. This is a binding agreement and can be upheld in court. However, it has the additional benefit of being allowed to change at a later date if your circumstances change and the current agreement is no longer tenable.
Q: What are the main advantages of business Mediation?
- Affordability: Mediation costs significantly less than court appearances and lawyers fees.
- Confidentiality: What is said by disputing parties during mediation remains confidential and cannot be used in a future lawsuit. Appearances in court, however, are on public record.
- Faster Resolutions: Within a few hours or a few sessions, mediation can settle a dispute. Court cases may take months or years to reach a conclusion.
- Parties Participate: Judges and juries have nothing to do with mediation, meaning the resolution is decided by the parties themselves.
- Parties Interact: Parties do not use proxies to communicate and therefore can reestablish trust and maintain business relationships after the dispute resolution.