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CBI believes that business owners with good will can resolve most disputes by common sense mediation utilizing the services of a professional mediator to facilitate the process.

Commercial contracts often include clauses outlining the process to resolve disputes between parties. Typically, this involves a requirement to negotiate with the other party before commencing any court proceedings. However, there may also be provisions that allow the parties to appoint an arbitrator or mediator to resolve a dispute. In this article, we will explain how two contracting parties might use mediation  to resolve a commercial dispute.

In a mediation, a mediator encourages disputing parties to achieve a commercial resolution in an informal setting. If the parties reach a decision, they have the option to sign a legal agreement outlining the resolution.

Why Would a Party Choose to Mediate?

Mediation is a fast, business-friendly and cost-efficient alternative to try to reach an agreement. A person might choose to mediate because of its:

Cost:

  • The mediation normally concludes within a day and the parties will only have to pay for their own costs, plus the fee for the mediator.

Efficiency:

  • If you take a matter to court, you could face delays. You may need to wait months before receiving a court date, and once decided, there is little flexibility. This is impractical for time-sensitive disputes that need a quick resolution.
  • A mediation meeting is generally quick to organise and hold. Usually mediation concludes in less than a day and requires minimal preparation.

Autonomy:

  • The parties compromise and reach an agreement themselves. Unlike court or arbitration, there is no third party making decisions which lead to one winner and one loser. Both parties collaborate to reach the most satisfactory outcome.

International Applicability:

  • As the mediator focuses on finding a resolution that is acceptable to all involved, the parties can quickly return to business as usual if an agreement can be reached. Given the collaborative nature of mediation, the parties do not have to sacrifice their business relationship to find a solution.

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