COMMERCIAL MEDIATION is a process where a trained and impartial mediator helps two or more commercial orgainsations resolve a dispute.
Almost any commercial dispute can be resolved through mediation. Some typical examples are shown below.
Mediation finds a mutually acceptable settlement, ensuring the parties remain in control of the outcome and can protect their interests at all times. This differs from court where a judge decides the outcome.
The UK courts heavily promote mediation to resolve disputes out-of-court because it offers many advantages.
A typical mediation would work like this.
Why use mediation?
Mediate settlements to commercial disputes quickly to avoid
dissatisfied customers, unhappy employees and a risk to your profitability
Protect your revenue and profitability
Disruptions to supply chain, issues with buyers or disputes about funding can hit profits and cashflow.
Resolve issues quickly and get your business back on track.
Don't give your competitors a chance to take your market.
Maintain customer satisfaction
Your business relies on satisfied customers.
If your product or service is jeopardised by a commercial dispute, it's your customers that might suffer.
Protect your reputation by sorting out issues quickly.
Keep your team productive and focused
Your people are critical to your business. Disputes threaten productivity and unsettle your team.
If your employees are hindered your clients might suffer and you may lose good people.
Empower your team to deliver by resolving causes of dissatisfaction.
6 reasons to mediate commercial dispute
There are many benefits of mediation versus court action
We have highlighted some of the most important below
Mediation is much cheaper than court action and costs are known and fixed at the outset
Parties are free to decide the terms of settlement - nothing can be imposed on them
Everything in mediation is confidential, preserving commercially sensitive information
Mediation can be resolved in a day, taking much less management time than court
Mediation is collaborative, helping to preserve important commercial relationships more effectively than adversarial litigation
Mediation takes place at a time and place agreed by both parties, reducing disruption
Who should use mediation?
Most commercial disputes can be settled through mediation.
Here are a few illustrative examples where mediation got businesses back on track.
Supplier dispute jeopardised reputation for quality
A dispute with a supplier over the quality of materials threatened a manufacturers' reputation for quality.
Mediation resolved the dispute, ensured future quality and strengthened the relationship.
Founders' disagreement threatened partnership
Growing distrust between founders was disrupting sales and putting the partnership at risk.
Mediation resolved the dispute, clarified individuals' roles and responsibilities and re-energised the partnership.
Disruption in business-critical software hit revenue
Delays in the completion and disruption to provision of software services led to loss of contracts and revenue.
Mediation resolved the dispute, re-aligned incentives and brought the project back on track.
Contract breach left employees at risk
A breach of contract left works incomplete, threatening the safety of employees and stopping work.
Mediation resolved the dispute, established clear SLAs and allowed work to resume.
Supply-chain issues incurred delay penalties
Issues with contractors meant downstream work could not begin causing delays to build.
Mediation resolved the dispute, agreed a new plan allowing work to resume achieve deadlines.
Professional negligence led to cashflow crisis
A small business was at risk of bankruptcy as professional negligence tied-up much-needed capital.
Mediation resolved the dispute, released funds and allowed the business to continue trading.