How to resolve commercial disputes without the courts

Alternative dispute resolution, including mediation, has become an important part of the problem solving and resolution landscape in Ireland. More and more clients are choosing mediation and informal settlement methods for resolving their commercial disputes. Going to Court can be both extremely time consuming and expensive. Many clients are choosing to resolve commercial disputes through mediation and informal settlements. It can take months if not years to go to Court and resolve a dispute. Many of the types of disputes that we see need to be resolved as a matter of urgency and that is where mediation and informal settlement agreements come into play.

Mediation, amongst other things, involves having a trained mediator guide the parties’ negotiations to resolve the dispute. The key benefits of opting for mediation over Court litigation, apart from the cost and time factors are set out below:

· Privacy – It may be critical for the continued success of your business that any business dispute is kept of out of the public eye.

· Flexibility – There are broader range of settlement options and much more flexibility. It is the parties to the mediation that decide what the options to resolve the problem are, rather than the Judge in Court. Examples include apologies, services or goods in kind and differing payment terms.

· Minimise Cost – Mediation allows you to gain a commercial resolution. You can minimise the cost and disruption to your business by focusing in on a resolution at an early stage.

· Global resolution – Resolving your dispute through mediation will allow you to resolve the issue holistically and not just focus on the legal issues. Very often Courts provide only half the answer to a business dispute, omitting significant personal and commercial considerations.

Very often a Court will request that the parties go to mediation before the full case unfolds in Court at full hearing. This is, in effect, a last gasp effort to resolve matters before matters are ventilated in Court. There is a 50% success rate with mediation. Our clients are keen to opt for mediation because they understand the commercial benefits of this type of settlement approach.

If you have a dispute, do not let it sit and fester, it is imperative that you take advice from a solicitor as soon as possible. We can assist you with your business dispute

Article by: Milan Schuster