Conflict mediation services for industry partners – Business-to-Business
“When all fails, we take you to court…”
Better yet, let's take you to mediation!
Usually, business relations tend to unwind smooth and without issues, however there are times when small disagreements between parties can quickly degenerate into fully-blown expensive and lengthy legal suits.
Such an experience can be unpleasant, time-consuming and often times can bring along unexpected and significantly underestimated extra costs, such as collateral damages, IP rights, and so on.
What to do?
Common sense dictates that issues should be solved amicably by both parties, in a way that is commonly acceptable and can be brought to a good end.
However, when all efforts to resolve the matter using friendly and bilateral agreements fail, there are two options: mediation by a neutral 3rd party that has no conflict of interest, or going to court.
Having said a few words about the latter, let’s focus on the first option for a bit.
The procedure of mediation involves bringing the matter before a mediation board.
Just like with a lawsuit, prior to discussing the matter with both parties, the mediation board must receive the complaint file.
The complaint file forwarded by the plaintiff must contain:
- the litigating parties (e.g. who is who, exact identification of the companies involved and of their representatives);
- a brief description of the conflict that arose between parties;
- the request of the plaintiff pertaining to what exactly is desired to be achieved;
- an elaborate description of the background facts and of the situation that led to the conflict;
- a description of the ways parties used to solve the conflict;
- supporting evidence attached to the file, such as documents, pictures, testimonies, basically anything which ‘proves the case’.
In turn the opposed party, the defendant, must submit a written reply to the stated conflict and present their view upon the matter.
When both files are submitted, the mediation board will analyze the files and study the matter at hand.
The mediation procedure can not be filed ex parte (outside the awareness of a party).
The mediation procedure can not be executed in absentia, hence both parties must be willing to participate and be present at the session.
The mediation procedure takes place in private sessions, without public or media attending to it.
If required, the mediation board may ask parties to join in a meeting, in camera, to further discuss the matter.
The procedure takes place extra territorium, on neutral ground. The location itself is chosen by the mediation board, ahead of time of the meeting and communicated in due time.
At the end of the deliberations, the mediation board issues a statement about its position regarding the issue at hand and will present conclusions along with specific recommendations for each party. The outcome of the mediation is binding for insofar both parties agree to it being executed to close the case. A written agreement is then drafted and signed by both parties.
Not fulfilling the stipulations of the agreement can weigh heavily against the infringing party, due to the fact that FUE Europe has an international reach amongst its members. Although the mediation sessions are private and no specific details about the nature of the conflict or of the settlements are published on the association’s web site, the organization has the obligation to inform its members upon their written request about the pending litigations, their status and their outcome.
No ‘lightly’ matter
The mediation procedure is not to be taken lightly, as due diligence is required. The mediation board will require ample evidence to sustain the claims, such as financial records, contracts, signed agreements, photographic evidence, written testimonies and will verify the accuracy of such documents. Presenting inaccurate or incomplete information may lead to the invalidation of the case and to a negative outcome for the contributing party. Additionally, all inconsistencies are recorded in the case file and are made available to both parties. Such incidences could potentially be used in a lawsuit in the future and they do not weigh well in the favor of the contravening party.
As tempting as it may be to file for mediation, not all cases qualify for being reviewed by the mediation board.
Cases that involve the death of a person, major persistent trauma, permanent personal injury, gross negligence, bankruptcy or criminal offenses, can not be handled in mediation procedures. In such cases we recommend retaining an attorney and proceeding in court.
Cost of mediation for industry partners – Business-to-Business
Mediation costs are vastly lower than a law suit and they vary depending on the amount of work required to handle a specific case, from 6000 euro for proceedings that extra camera, up to 12000 euro for complex procedures that require multiple in camera meetings. Unlike a lawsuit, the costs of the mediation procedure are shared equally, by both parties.
To submit a Business-to-Business case file for mediation please download the files below.