COMMERCIAL MEDIATION

Mediate conflicts and disputes, build bridges and find solutions together

Mediation is a structured procedure for the out-of-court settlement of conflicts. Commercial mediation takes place in the following contexts:

Between companies and business partners

  • Disputes over claims (delivery/payment default)
  • Contractual disputes
  • Compensation for damages, complaints
  • Patent-/Trademark Law
  • Mergers/Acquisitions
  • Disputes arising from joint ventures and large-scale projects (for example: construction projects, infrastructure projects, IT projects, …)

Within companies, management

  • Conflicts between employees
  • Conflicts between superiors and employees
  • Conflicts within teams, between teams/departments
  • Bullying by superiors or peers
  • Disputes within the framework of the social partnership (personnel commissions management, personnel department)
  • Handover/succession conflicts
  • Conflicts between shareholders

Between companies, associations, authorities, the public

  • Conflicts concerning collective labor agreements
  • Conflicts over plant closures, redundancies, social plans
  • Environmental Conflicts
  • Conflicts in connection with permits and objections to construction projects

When they decide for mediation, the parties voluntarily agree to take responsibility for resolving their conflict themselves. In contrast to court or arbitration proceedings, conciliation, or a court settlement, in mediation the parties themselves determine and shape the solutions and results. They are supported in this by mediators. The accredited mediators of the SCCM are impartial and bound to secrecy.

The task of mediation is not to find “culprits”, but rather to make the interests of the individual parties visible and understandable. The task of mediators is to strengthen the competence of the parties, with the help of a structured process, so that they can develop their own solutions to their conflicts.

Mediation is a “bridge builder”; the division between two parties is overcome and in the end the original common goals and commitments come back into focus.

Mediation is: Mediators are: Disputing parties:
  • Confidential
  • Structured
  • Voluntary
  • Open to creative solutions
  • Neutral
  • Independent
  • Qualified
  • Professional
  • Take responsibility
  • Are interested in working through conflicts constructively
  • Develop their own solutions

Freedom of Action and Protection of Reputation

Business mediation is active risk management. In a court case, the parties lose control. Mediation enables unrestricted freedom of action. What, when and how to resolve the dispute and move forward is determined actively by the parties themselves. Mediations are confidential. Information about the mediation is only published if the parties so wish. Mediation thus protects the reputation of companies. In mediation, agreements can only be concluded jointly. This prevents imposition of unilateral solutions. Mediation is voluntary. The parties are therefore free to break off a mediation procedure at any time.

The Advantages of Mediation

In both court and arbitration proceedings, the solution to the conflict is determined by the judge or arbitrator. A solution outside the framework set by the parties with their legal claims is not possible. Mediation allows the parties to find a solution to the conflict that meets their needs.

Mediation is a fast procedure and can be started within a few days. Often one or two days of mediation sessions are sufficient to find a solution or to conclude that the conflict cannot be solved by mediation at this point in time.

Because of the brevity and efficiency of the procedure, the costs of the proceedings are reduced to a fraction of the costs of ordinary court or arbitration proceedings.

The parties have the opportunity to develop creative, “expand the pie” conflict solutions (win-win-solutions) that take into account the interests of both parties.

The aim of the mediation process is to reconcile the parties to the conflict. Applied to the business world, this means that business relationships are maintained and remain viable, with lasting solutions achieved.

Questions and Answers About Mediation

In any matter where the parties could benefit from the above advantages. In particular, if a party relationship or a business relationship is better served by an amicable solution than by a lengthy arbitration procedure. The more complex and emotional a conflict is, the more unpredictable court or arbitration decisions can be, the more parties are involved in the conflict, the more suitable a mediation procedure can be.

In the business sector there are many constellations in which parties have an interest in long-term cooperation based on contracts or common economic interests (e.g. franchising agreements, exclusive distribution rights, cooperation in the construction sector, licenses, etc.). Here, conflict resolution through mediation is particularly suitable.

The involvement of a qualified lawyer is recommended, but by no means a prerequisite. What is important, however, is that the party taking part in the mediation has decision-making power to end the conflict.

Mediators are neither judges nor arbitrators. They are neutral facilitators who neither evaluate nor judge the dispute. The main task of mediators is to help the parties to negotiate constructively. They facilitate communication between the parties and create an atmosphere of discussion that allows the problems identified to be discussed. They identify obstacles to agreement and communication and use special techniques to remove such obstacles. The mediators create a climate of discussion that enables the parties to build the trust necessary for constructive negotiation talks.

Mediators help the parties to develop their own creative proposals that resolve the conflict in a way that satisfies both parties. If the parties agree on a solution to their conflict, the mediators assist in recording this agreement in writing.

The costs of a mediation procedure consist of the mediation fees and any reimbursement of expenses. At the beginning of a mediation procedure the parties and the mediator agree on the terms of compensation.

Mediation is a non-binding method of conflict resolution and is based on the absolute voluntariness of the parties. Each party can terminate the procedure at any time if they no longer feel comfortable with it. For the duration of the mediation procedure, each party shall cooperate in good faith toward finding an optimal resolution to the entire conflict. Each party must abide by the agreed mediation rules.

Mediation is a completely private and confidential procedure. The parties and the mediator agree to maintain absolute confidentiality of all information obtained during the mediation and, should the mediation fail, they undertake not to use it in any subsequent proceedings or arbitration. Each party also undertakes to bear its own share of the costs of the mediation. As a rule, the costs of mediation are borne jointly by the parties.

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