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Three Tips for a Successful Commercial Mediation

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Sometimes, businesses can get into commercial disputes with other companies they work with. If so, it is best to determine an amicable solution with the other party as soon as possible. Where a dispute arises, you should maintain an open mind, take legal advice and potentially pursue a more formal manner to resolve the dispute, such as conflict resolution. Rather than going to court, you can choose to enter a commercial mediation process. This article will explain three tips for a successful mediation. 

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What is Commercial Mediation?

Commercial mediation is a popular form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to settle business disputes. It is a voluntary process, and you can use it flexibly. 

Unlike arbitration, mediation does not resolve the dispute with a specific decision. Instead, the role of the mediator, who is often a legal professional, is to be an independent facilitator. They encourage the parties to settle the dispute through an agreement. Whilst mediation is not the same as using a court to resolve a commercial dispute, both share similar objectives in terms of being fair and proportionate.  

What Are Successful Mediation Tips?

It is helpful for you to know some mediation tips so that you have a greater chance of reaching a favourable outcome for your business. Below, we detail three tips for successful mediation.

1. Understanding and Presentation

It is essential for you to understand both the dispute and your argument and that you can present this clearly. When you participate in commercial mediation, the mediator may ask you and the other business to present your case to each other. This will often happen at the start of the mediation and is an opportunity to let the other party know your concerns. It is important that you use this opportunity well. You want to ensure the other party understands why you are upset and how you can move forward toward an amicable solution. 

Importantly, mediation is not about which side is stronger or more aggressive. It is about listening and communicating various concerns so that you find a middle-ground solution. 

2. Choosing the Right Mediator

To ensure the success of your mediation, it is essential to choose a good mediator. A good mediator can assist both parties in a dispute to productively discuss the issues. You can find a list of accredited mediators by getting in touch with organisations such as the following:

  • CEDR;
  • In Place of Strife; and 
  • Clerks Room.

When selecting a mediator for your commercial dispute, you may understandably think choosing one with expertise in the subject matter is best. However, this is only sometimes the case, as a mediator without this can bring a fresh perspective to the dispute. 

3. Thinking About the Outcome

When you decide upon mediation as a means to resolve your dispute, it is crucial to think about your desired outcome. Being clear on this and knowing your options can help in a successful mediation. 

A good way to think about your argument is to consider its strengths and weaknesses. This will help you to identify the best and worst possible outcomes. Knowing this can also help you decide on what settlement is favourable if you are looking for damages, as a court might suggest. However, remember that mediation is more flexible than a commercial court case. Therefore, you may be happier moving forward on a fresh note with the other business and, therefore, agreeing to a new contract.

Thinking about your preferred outcome does not mean you should resolutely stick to it and ignore the other party’s solutions. Rather, contemplate a range of issues you are willing to compromise. It is helpful to brainstorm a sliding scale of options from the most preferred to the least. By remaining stubborn on one sole solution, you risk having an unproductive mediation session and leaving with no suitable resolution.

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Key Takeaways

If your business has a commercial dispute with another company, you may decide to resolve it using mediation. Mediation is a form of ADR. Rather than determining a decision or solution, the mediator helps facilitate a discussion between the parties. This may then end in an agreed resolution. Understanding and presenting your case and argument helps towards a successful mediation. Additionally, selecting a good mediator will help. Finally, it is important to have an idea of what you would like the mediation outcome to be. This could involve damages or a new contract.

If you need help understanding tips for successful mediation in the UK, our experienced disputes and litigation lawyers 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. Call us today on 0808 196 8584 or visit our membership page.

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