Why businesses should consider mediation instead of litigation (Part II)

Some advantages of choosing mediation over litigation in resolving business disputes had been highlighted in an earlier blog post. This post aims to bring to light other advantages that mediation has over court proceedings when it comes to resolving business disputes.


One of the major reasons for opting for mediation above litigation is the confidentiality it affords the disputing parties. Rather than have them out in the public eye as a result of court proceedings, parties will be content to enjoy the confidentiality that comes with a mediation agreement. The mediation of a business dispute happens in a confidential conference room and thus permits the parties to feel in charge of the entire process. The privacy inspires the active participation of the parties who have no reason to hold back anything whatsoever as they freely exchange information and relate with one another and the mediator.

The procedure and result of a mediation are private. There are no cameras and the result (case settlement and its terms), if the parties involved thus desires, remain private. It helps the parties – business owners – to dodge the publicity associated with a jury’s decision in any courtroom where anybody could be in attendance to follow the proceedings.

More privacy is even afforded individual parties in the mediation process where they can meet with and engage the impartial mediator in confidence. In the course of these meetings, the individual party can divulge all sorts of information which include their interests, needs, business goals, flaws in their stance and other information, the knowledge of which can be essential for the dispatch of settlement by the mediator.

Sustained Business Relations

Resolving business disputes is not just about money. Although money is important in business, the relationship between business partners is more important. Therefore, a conflict should not be the end of any business relationship. Both parties can still continue to do business as before or even better. This is what mediation aims to achieve as taking part in a process that leads to mutually agreed resolution can enable parties to maintain their business relations while they get rid of doubts that might be getting in the way of an otherwise prosperous venture.

Profitable business relationships can be rashly ended by litigation. Many well-informed business leaders appreciate the need to deploy mediation for creating and even sustaining good relationships with their employees, customers and other stakeholders.

In situations where business relations have become caustic for one reason or the other, the trust can be restored by mediation. Exchange of ideas and confidence can be restored by mediation in a situation whereby parties who were once loyal partners have become suspicious of one another.

Adaptable Nature of Resolution

In a litigation process, there is little or no flexibility as the process progresses at the pace of the court and not at that of the disputing parties. In mediation, however, there is some flexibility when it comes to arriving at a negotiated resolution. Parties are able to discover solutions that might not be available in litigation. There are a myriad of choices for dispute resolution by mediation and these choices are only limited by the business parties’ alacrity and the mediator’s ingenuity.

When a party wins in court, they almost always secure the award of monetary damages and this is quite restrictive. In the process of a mediation, the disputing parties can be assisted to restore their concentration to their business goals, away from the dispute. More so, the parties involved can renegotiate their contractual terms in the process of a mediation, something that is not possible in litigation.

Also, the entire procedure of meditation itself can be designed to suit the issues on the ground and the requirements of the involved parties. The layout for the interfaces between the mediator and the disputing parties is adaptable in a mediation. The mediator can hold talks privately with every party involved to find out the procedure that will be best for settlement. S/he can begin with separate sessions with business counsels and persons. The mediation procedure might even be kick-started by the mediator holding a joint session with the involved parties. This is a desirable flexibility that cannot be afforded by litigation. It’s the melange of these meetings that will eventually lead to a satisfactory outcome for every party involved.

Self-devised agreed terms from a mediation process are more likely to be complied with by disputing parties than court impositions because it provides a chance to invent creative solutions that transcend the restricted remedies of proceedings in court and jury/judge rulings. Since the result will be reached by painstaking analysis by the mediator of factual, legal and technical information from both sides, there is an intrinsic flexibility which reflects in the final terms of settlement reached.

On the whole, except in some rare cases where litigation seems the best option, it’s always better for disputing parties to settle their differences with mediation.  The advantages are truly immense when they employ the services of expert mediators.

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