Is Mediation Good For Your Business?

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Since April 27,2010, the legisla¬tive initiative of the Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Hu¬man Rights, to introduce me¬diation in civil and commercial matters {based on Directive 2008/52 EU), has been under public deliberation.

WIN-WIN
Mediation is an alternative system of solving disputes between parties, with the assistance of a third, objective party, the mediator, who tries to lead the other parties to an agreement. The formal practice of mediation has existed for many years in almost all European countries, as well as in the judicial systems of the United States and Australia, and is an innovative and streamlined method of solving commercial differences. Through mediation, the solution of differences is often achieved faster and more economically compared with the traditional courtroom and formal judicial procedures. At the same time relations between the business¬es or parties involved are protected. Mediation may be viewed as a «win-win» procedure, in which both sides benefit upon reaching a solu¬tion of their dispute.
Mediators are usually lawyers who are certi¬fied by a recognized body. They do not decide on cases, but rather discern the needs of the parties and help them find their own solution. Mediators cannot be present as witnesses in a court trial between the involved parties and are obliged to observe strict ethical guidelines.
With the assistance of a mediator, busi¬nesses have the opportunity to present their requests and achieve the solution of the dis¬pute in an environment that promotes dia¬logue and ensures professionalism and ab-solute confidentiality. Mediation is a speedy and, considering the result, inexpensive dis¬pute-solving mechanism, that contributes to the preservation of good business relations.

WHEN DO YOU USE MEDIATION?
 Disputes with clients, other businesses, personnel and associates, partners, insur¬ance agencies
 Commercial contract disputes and varia¬tion to existing contracts
 Renegotiation of long-term contracts or negotiation of new contracts
 Developing new business or joint ven¬tures, mergers and takeovers
 International business
 Cross border/ cross jurisdiction

WHAT ARE THE SIGNIFICANT ADVANTAGES?
The mediator:
 Manages the process so that the parties can focus on the content
 Assists with creating value
 Is the guardian of strategic information
 Restarts communication
 Diffuses conflicts
 Assists in breaking «deadlock»
Mediation in commercial disputes:
 Saves time and energy
 Is flexible, speedy and confidential
 Is a win-win situation
 Avoids litigation
 Allows parties to decide their solutions
 Provides ways to deal with emerging dis¬putes or changes
 Is a non-binding process in the sense that either party can walk out at any time
 Ensures the rights of the parties, including the right to proceed or continue with arbi¬tration or any other process in Court, will remain unaffected by the mediation unless the mediation results in a settlement.
The business world should take a posi¬tive stand regarding the institution of me¬diation. Businesses should be informed by their lawyers about this new alternative, and before going to Court should wonder:
 Mediation or Trial?
 Agreement or Ordeal?
It’s Your Choice!!!

MEDIATION MAY BE VIEWED AS A «WIN-WIN» PROCEDURE

Evi Avlogiari
Attorney & Counsellor-at-law (Supreme Court)
Accredited Mediator (CiArb), specialized in family & commercial cases
– Special Adviser on Negotiations

Υ.Γ. Το άρθρο αυτό δημοσιεύθηκε στο περιοδικό «Business Partners», τεύχος 49, Ιούλιος-Αύγουστος 2010.

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