Tuesday 16 June 2009
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MEDIATION ON THE RISE AS RECESSION BITES
Mediation is on the rise during the economic downturn as disputes increase and companies find the cost of commercial litigation, and the time involved, prohibitive.
A survey conducted by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) has revealed that nearly 70 per cent of its UK members believe that the use of commercial mediation is increasing in the UK, mirroring similar findings across the world.
This perception was greater than average among legal professionals, where 73 per cent said that they considered the use of mediation to be increasing, in contrast with just 2 per cent who perceived it to be declining, and 16 per cent who thought it was static.
Michael Forbes Smith, director general of CIArb, said: “In our membership survey, CIArb members reported an increase in the number of disputes during the economic downturn, as well as an increase in the use of commercial mediation.
“It may be that the recession is accelerating a growing worldwide trend towards ADR, where businesses are increasingly choosing to resolve their disputes out of court to save time and money.
“In the current economic climate, it is essential to support businesses with effective methods of alternative dispute resolution. Commercial mediation provides a cost-effective alternative to litigation, but it is important that high standards are enforced to give users confidence.
“CIArb supports the professional development of mediation and other forms of non-court dispute resolution by training professionals to the highest standards and enforcing a strict code of conduct. Our professional mediation pathway provides the gold standard of qualification at Fellowship grade.”
In a further boost for business, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales last week launched a new mediation scheme designed to resolve high-value disputes involving FTSE-250 companies.
The scheme will be spearheaded by Cherie Booth QC, who will be guest speaker at CIArb’s Members’ Luncheon on Tuesday 30 June.
A CIArb member, international arbitrator and accredited mediator, she will talk on the subject of ‘How Best to Settle an Argument’.