In our opinion, mediation has a huge potential also for business-to-business disputes in the area of life science. This alternative dispute resolution tool seems to be particularly useful:
- in cross-border disputes, to avoid lengthy legal discussions, which law is applicable and which courts are competent. Furthermore legal proceedings in a foreign country might potentially be avoided, if the mediation is successful. By way of mediation, the parties would collectively brainstorm how their reciprocal interests can be best resolved in an amicable way, which means that their legal positions become less relevant.
- under high time-pressure, when a dispute needs to be sorted out fast, in order to move on with business operations. If a mediation is successful, the dispute can be settled effectively in a very short time-frame, possibly and in the best case even in one day.
- when the parties are interested in still conducting business together, although they struggle to resolve their current dispute on their own. In this case, mediation can try to help resolving the acute dispute by way of an „assisted negotiation“, but at the same time might be able to preserve the overall business-relationship between the parties, if a constructive solution can be found.
- in case a confidential resolution of the dispute is important to the parties. While the hearings and decisions in court litigations are public in most countries, a mediation is always confidential.
- in highly complex disputes, where their full litigation in court might require extensive expert opinions or extensive fact-finding work, possibly with an uncertain outcome.
- if emotions are involved – which happens also on a regular basis in a business context. A mediation can include non-legal topics into a solution as well, like e.g. an apology of a party to calm down emotions etc.