Human Resource (HR)


Mediation is a process wherein the parties meet with a mutually selected impartial and neutral person who assists them in the negotiation of their differences.

Is Mediation Right for You?

In mediation, the disputing parties work with a neutral third party, the mediator, to resolve their disputes. The mediator facilitates the resolution of the parties’ disputes by supervising the exchange of information and the bargaining process. The mediator helps the parties find common ground and deal with unrealistic expectations. He or she may also offer creative solutions and assist in drafting a final settlement. The role of the mediator is to interpret concerns, relay information between the parties, frame issues, and define the problems.

When to Mediate?

Mediation is usually a voluntary process, although sometimes statutes, rules, or court orders may require participation in mediation. Mediation is common in small claims courts, housing courts, family courts, and some criminal court programs and neighborhood justice centers.

Unlike the litigation process, where a neutral third party (usually a judge) imposes a decision over the matter, the parties and their mediator ordinarily control the mediation process — deciding when and where the mediation takes place, who will be present, how the mediation will be paid for, and how the mediator will interact with the parties.

Unlike the litigation process, where a neutral third party (usually a judge) imposes a decision over the matter, the parties and their mediator ordinarily control the mediation process — deciding when and where the mediation takes place, who will be present, how the mediation will be paid for, and how the mediator will interact with the parties.

Role of the Mediator: What does a Mediator do?

Mediation leaves the decision power totally and strictly with the parties. The mediator does not decide what is “fair” or “right,” does not assess blame nor render an opinion on the merits or chances of success if the case were litigated. Rather, the mediator acts as a catalyst between opposing interests attempting to bring them together by defining issues and eliminating obstacles to communication, while moderating and guiding the process to avoid confrontation and ill will. The mediator will, however, seek concessions from each side during the mediation process.

Stages of Mediation

Many people think that mediation is an informal process in which a friendly mediator chats with the disputants until they suddenly drop their hostilities and work together for the common good. It doesn’t work this way. Mediation is a multi-stage process designed to get results. It is less formal than a trial or arbitration, but there are distinct stages to the mediation process that account for the system’s high rate of success.

Most mediations proceed as follows:

  • Stage 1: Mediator’s opening statement. After the disputants are seated at a table, the mediator introduces everyone, explains the goals and rules of the mediation, and encourages each side to work cooperatively toward a settlement.
  • Stage 2: Disputants’ opening statements. Each party is invited to describe the dispute and its consequences, financial and otherwise. The mediator might entertain general ideas about resolution, as well. While one person is speaking, the other is not allowed to interrupt.
  • Stage 3: Joint discussion. The mediator might encourage the parties to respond directly to the opening statements, depending on the participants’ receptivity, in an attempt to further define the issues.
  • Stage 4: Private caucuses. The private caucus is a chance for each party to meet privately with the mediator. Each side will be placed in a separate room. The mediator will go between the two rooms to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each position and to exchange offers. The mediator continues the exchange as needed during the time allowed. These private meetings comprise the guts of mediation.
  • Stage 5: Joint negotiation. After caucuses, the mediator might bring the parties back together to negotiate directly, but this is unusual. The mediator usually doesn’t bring the parties back together until a settlement is reached or the time allotted for the mediation ends.
  • Stage 6: Closure. If the parties reach an agreement, the mediator will likely put its main provisions in writing and ask each side to sign the written summary of the agreement. If the parties didn’t reach an agreement, the mediator will help the parties determine whether it would be fruitful to meet again later or continue negotiations by phone.

Mediation Process

Pre-Mediation Calls

BACT mediators often provide parties the opportunity for pre-mediation calls in order to discuss:

  • How to craft a mediation process tailored to your dispute
  • When the mediation should take place and who should attend
  • How to exchange information and whether opening statements will be allowed
  • Issues the mediator should be aware of that are not included in the written statements

During the Mediation Session

Using their extraordinary interpersonal skills, BACT mediators listen closely to all perspectives, quickly evaluate party dynamics and establish rapport, leaving ample time for them to focus on:

  • What issues are in dispute and what might motivate each party to settle
  • Making candid observations when appropriate and assisting both sides in assessing risk, overcoming impasse
  • Pursuing creative, collaborative solutions that are consistent with the facts of the case and geared toward preserving mutual interests and ongoing relationships
  • Ensuring that all parties trust the process and feel they have been heard and that all reasonable prospects for settlement have been considered
  • Guiding parties toward resolution


In the event that all issues are not resolved during the mediation session, BACT mediators are tenacious and follow up in an effort to keep parties engaged in the process and focused on resolution. They will persist until the case settles or every conceivable option has been exhausted.

Forbearance from Litigation During Mediation and Confidentiality of Proceedings

At the outset of a mediation process, the mediator may well seek agreement from the parties to forbear from litigation during the mediation process and to hold everything that is said in the various sessions confidential and not deemed an admission or used against any party in any other proceeding if mediation fails.

Procedures: Joint Session Followed by Private Caucuses

Mediation generally begins with a joint session to set an agenda, define the issues and ascertain the position and/or concerns of the parties. This allows the parties to attack the resolution process either on an issue-by-issue or group-by-group basis.

The joint session is then followed by a separate caucus between the mediator and each individual party or their counsel. This allows each side to explain and enlarge upon their position and mediation goals in confidence. It also gives the mediator an opportunity to ask questions which may well serve to create doubt in an advocate’s mind over the validity of a particular position.

Procedures: Joint Session Followed by Private Caucuses

Business mediation respects the same standards and follows the same procedure of mediation. It is a voluntary method to settle disputes, parties decide on an agreement to solve their dispute through mediation.

Parties are also free to agree on a suitable mediator that possesses knowledge, experience and expertise in the matter of the dispute. The mediator facilitates the parties in finding an agreement to settle the dispute. Mediation takes place in confidential hearings. Usually, these hearings last between four and six hours or longer depending on the complexity of the issues. According to statistics, one hearing is enough to reach an agreement. However, if necessary, more hearings can be scheduled. The outcome of the proceeding is a settlement agreement signed by all parties. Business dispute mediation can help to keep legal costs lower and provide a quicker way to find an agreement than the alternative of pursuing legal action in the courts.

Business Mediation vs. Arbitration: what are the differences?

Business Mediation and Arbitration belong to the category of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods and both involve the participation of a third neutral party.

In arbitration, this third party is called “arbitrator” who has the power to issue a decision (award) that is binding for the parties. In Business Mediation, the third party is the mediator and can only facilitate parties in reaching an agreement but cannot make any decision or provide suggestions. It is common for parties to attempt mediation before starting an arbitration proceeding.

Business Mediation v. Litigation: why mediation is a better choice

There are different reasons to which business mediation represents a better method to resolve disputes compared to litigation. Business mediation is a cheaper and more time-saving procedure. It is a simplified procedure and does not require the assistance of lawyers, this contributes to lower costs. Moreover, parties are free to find the most suitable solution to preserve their business and their relationships. Additionally, the mediator can be chosen by parties while in court litigation the competent judge is already chosen by the law. In choosing the mediator, parties can agree on skills or characteristics that the mediator shall possess. On the contrary, court litigation does not always happen that the judge is an expert in the matter of the dispute. Lastly, in mediation, the number of meetings can be decided by parties while in litigation, the judge is in charge of this decision.

Types of business disputes

There are many reasons why a business might find itself caught up in a dispute. Many different types of dispute can benefit from the mediation process, rather than litigation. Some business mediation examples include:

  • Contract issues
  • Disputes between shareholders and directors
  • Professional negligence
  • Fraud
  • Partnership disputes
  • Construction disputes
  • Property disputes
  • Inheritance and probate disputes
  • Trust disputes including TOLATA claims
  • Disputes with public bodies
  • IT disputes

How can our business mediatiors help?

BACT have extensive experience in the area of mediation and business law.

We can assist our clients involved in a variety of different business disputes, offering expert advice at every stage.

We also have a team of trained and accredited business mediators that can be appointed as mediator to oversee mediation sessions. Whether you require family business mediation services, multinational organisation dispute mediation or anything in between, our team have the specialist knowledge and experience to help achieve the best possible outcome.

At BACT, mediation is not limited to just a few hours or a day-long session. It’s a process—one at which our mediators and case managers excel. We work diligently every step of the way—from pre-mediation calls and preparation to post-mediation follow-up—toward helping all parties arrive at the best possible outcome to their dispute.

We offer affordable hearing formats, including half-day options, for every dispute. BACT mediators have demonstrated their ability to resolve cases promptly and efficiently, providing significant savings of time and expense.

Creative solutions. Persistent follow-up. We work diligently every step of the way-from pre-mediation calls to post-mediation follow-up to help all parties arrive at the best possible outcome to their dispute.

Contact our business dispute resolution team.

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