Skip to content

What Is the Role of the Mediator in My Commercial Dispute?

Table of Contents

Running a business can be a hectic activity, and if you encounter any obstacles, these can create problems and take even more time. One type of problem that could occur is a commercial dispute. This is where you and another business disagree about business activities. If this happens, you want to resolve it as soon as possible and to avoid court proceedings. One way of doing so is to carry out commercial dispute mediation. If so, it is essential that you fully understand the process, which includes the role of the mediator. It is also necessary to consider legal advice. This article will explain the mediator’s likely role in your commercial dispute.

What is Mediation for My Commercial Dispute? 

Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for commercial disputes. It can also be used for various other conflicts, such as family disputes. Mediation is a flexible and informal procedure, and as it is not court litigation, it is confidential. When parties to a dispute choose mediation to attempt to resolve it, they do so voluntarily. 

Front page of publication
Guide to Resolving UK Business Disputes

This guide outlines how to resolve commercial disputes.

Download Now

Mediation involves a mediator who will help you and the other commercial party resolve your dispute. It can take place at any point within the commercial dispute and is speedier and cheaper than commercial litigation. 

What Is the Mediator’s Role?

It is important to understand the mediator’s role in mediating a commercial dispute. This will help you determine whether mediation is right for you and help you ensure the mediation process stays on. Therefore, we explain the role of a mediator in a commercial dispute in detail.

What Are a Mediator’s Characteristics?

A commercial mediator in mediation proceedings is a partial and independent third party to the commercial dispute. Therefore, they must not be interested in or involved in your commercial disagreement. A commercial mediator does not have to know your business area or have expertise in it. 

What Does a Mediator Do?

A commercial mediator plays the role of a facilitator in the mediation process. Therefore, they help you and the other party resolve the dispute. Another way to think of the mediator’s role in commercial mediation is that they are enablers. 

Mediation, therefore, may not result in a resolution, as you and the other party may not be able to agree on one. However, in some instances, the role of a mediator may change slightly. This is because they may sometimes be asked to decide on some of the merits of the commercial dispute.

To carry out the role of a facilitator in a commercial dispute, there are specific actions that they carry out in their role. For example, a mediator must be informative, particularly at the start of the mediation process. They explain the nature of commercial mediation and your role as one of the parties in the dispute in developing a resolution.

A commercial mediator’s role also involves listening when they meet with each party to the commercial dispute. Here, they listen to your case and help you to understand where you see your strengths and weaknesses. They may even try to test these for you.

Towards the end of the mediation process, the mediator’s role is as a messenger between you and the other party. Here, you will tell them about your offer to the other party, and they will suggest it to them.

What Should a Mediator Not Do?

To help understand the role of a mediator in a commercial dispute, it is essential to understand what they should not do as part of their role in commercial mediation. For example, a mediator must not create or find a resolution to the dispute for you. This differs from an arbitrator in commercial arbitration, who will decide on the dispute, which is an arbitral award. A mediator also should avoid assessing the party’s strengths in the dispute’s case.

Continue reading this article below the form
Need legal advice?
Call 0808 196 8584 for urgent assistance.
Otherwise, complete this form and we will contact you within one business day.

Key Takeaways

If you have a commercial dispute with another business, you may decide to conduct commercial mediation to resolve your disagreement. Mediation is a voluntary and flexible process that is confidential and does not occur through the courts. A commercial mediator plays a crucial role in mediation. They are an independent and impartial third party who facilitates the mediation procedure. This means they listen to each party’s case and help them understand their strengths and weaknesses. They also play the role of a messenger by passing offers between parties. 

Ultimately, their role is to encourage and assist you and the other commercial party in making a decision on your case. However, there are also actions a mediator should refrain from taking – for example, they should not make a decision on the case for you. 

If you need help understanding the potential role of a mediator within a commercial dispute, LegalVision’s experienced disputes and litigation solicitors can assist as part of our LegalVision membership. For a low monthly fee, you will have unlimited access to lawyers to answer your questions and draft and review your documents. So call us today on 0808 196 8584 or visit our membership page.

Register for our free webinars

Understanding Your Business’ New Employment Law Obligations

Ensure your business is compliant with the new employment law changes. Register for our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

A Roadmap to Business Success: How to Franchise in the UK

Learn the formula for successfully franchising your UK business. Register for our free webinar today.
Register Now
See more webinars >
Clare Farmer

Clare Farmer

Read all articles by Clare

About LegalVision

LegalVision is an innovative commercial law firm that provides businesses with affordable, unlimited and ongoing legal assistance through our membership. We operate in Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

Learn more

We’re an award-winning law firm

  • Award

    2023 Economic Innovator of the Year Finalist - The Spectator

  • Award

    2023 Law Company of the Year Finalist - The Lawyer Awards

  • Award

    2023 Future of Legal Services Innovation - Legal Innovation Awards

  • Award

    2021 Fastest Growing Law Firm in APAC - Financial Times