Commercial mediation
When confronted to a commercial dispute, litigation is not the best way to minimize resolution leadtime, costs, and energy - and above all, you don't control the outcome. There is a better way to go, compatible with your business imperatives: commercial mediation.


What is it?

What is the role of the mediator?
How does it work?
What are the benefits?
What are the cases that are the most adapted to mediation?
Why mediate with Convirgente?
Our rules of mediation


What is it?
Mediation is a dispute resolution process between two or more parties (organization or individuals). It is non judiciary, since it does not take place in tribunal, it’s voluntary, since all parties have to agree to participate, it’s based on collaborative principles instead of confrontation and it’s confidential since all parties, including the mediator, commit to the secrecy of the debates.

The commercial mediation process allows to continue the negotiation that was in most cases initiated by the parties but that did not have a positive outcome and that, for any reason, came to an impasse. In most cases, those disputes do have a solution and the role of the mediator is to facilitate the emergence of that solution. The presence of the mediator, as well as of the counsels, allows the parties to reinitiate the discussion and adopt a structured process that is focused on their interests, come to an agreement.

What is the role of the mediator?

The mediator is a facilitator selected by the parties, who has received a specific training and who assists the parties in their communication and negotiation. He/she is an independant and impartial professional, who does not take sides but guarantees the respect of certain rules and respect of the process. Jointly with the parties, he/she makes the list of what's on the table, of the interests at play, collects information and contributes in that way to the creation of a solution. The mediator separates problems from people, identifies key issues, help the parties to do "reality-testing" and stimulates a collaborative approach between them. The parties have a total control on the outcome of the process.


How does it work?
The commercial mediation process was created more than 20 years ago in the USA and then improved in the following years on the basis of the thousands of cases resolved. To summarize, here is how it looks (please contact us to know more):


The benefits of commercial mediation
Commercial mediation is a dispute resolution process very similar to what business managers are familiar with and this is one of the reasons of its sucess.

In a survey conducted in 2003 among 250 US companies of different size, the following benefits were identified :


After having implemented its “Early Dispute Resolution” program, in 1999, General Electric Oil & Gas Italy succeeded in the next 3 years to reduce by 80% thr number of litigations cases from 143 in 1999 to 30 in 2002. In the balance done in 2009, GE O&G Italy was 6 times bigger than in 1999, whereas the number of litigation cases were the same than in 2002, with around 25/30 cases/year and the associated costs were flat as well. According to Michael Mc Illwrath, General Counsel at GE O&G Italy, the use of mediation allowed to reduce the leadtime in the resolution of the disputes, the associated costs, the uncertainty and the negative impacts on commercial relationships.

What the cases that are the most adapted to commercial mediation?
The most adapted cases are those where:
  • Commercial and legal realities diverge
  • Difficulties/weaknesses have emerged as time was passing by
  • Costs of litigation are out of proportion to quantum
  • There is an history of difficult/non-communicative settlement
  • The case is ripe for settlement & parties are seeking the best settlement possible
 

Why mediate with Convirgente?
Mediators from Convirgente have a very good understanding of business issues, based on their experience as executives and business owners. They are accredited by ADR Group and the IMI (International Mediation Institute). They speak Portuguese, English and French. Their resumes are available here.