Although still fairly uncommon in South Africa, any commercial matter can be mediated and more and more companies are choosing to do so. If your interest is to preserve your relationships, have a speedier, less costly and more effective resolution to a commercial conflict than litigation, mediate your dispute.
Commercial mediation is voluntary, confidential and the costs are split between the parties. The parties have substantial input in the ultimate outcome which increases buy-in and reduces 'shopping' for an alternative outcome and enforcement issues.
The mediation is attended by a decision maker for each party, their legal advisors and any relevant experts if necessary. The mediator is independent and neutral. The mediator does not decide who is right or wrong and does not issue a judgement.
The role of the mediator is to hold the space and facilitate the process, gather information, generate options and assist in problem-solving. The mediator seeks to isolate the issues, helps the parties to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their own and each other’s case and encourages the parties to work co-operatively towards a legally binding settlement.
The parties have substantial input in the ultimate outcome and because of the buy-in there is far less chance of there being an enforcement issue afterwards. Enforcement and 'shopping' for another outcome can be debilitatingly long and expensive procedures
If you are interested in mediating a commercial matter and would like more information please contact me.