Mediation is another form of alternative dispute resolution that we have experience in. Mediation is a flexible process conducted confidentially in which a neutral impartial intermediary, the mediator, actively assists parties in working towards a mutually satisfactory settlement of their dispute. The parties stay in ultimate control of the decision to settle and the terms of resolution.

  • Mediation is voluntary, but refusal to mediate may give rise to cost sanctions in court proceedings depending on the facts. Courts usually encourage parties to consider mediation.
  • The Parties are completely free to choose the outcome. Unlike court litigation or arbitration where the outcome of a case is determined by the facts of the dispute and the applicable law, in mediation, the parties can also be guided by their business interests. As such, the parties are free to choose an outcome that is oriented as much to the future of their business relationship as to their past conduct.
  • Mediation is confidential and ‘without prejudice’ (nothing said in the mediation is admissible as evidence in legal proceedings).
  • Any settlement reached is legally binding once put into writing and signed by the parties.

Mediation, specifically, is an attractive option for parties that place a premium on the preservation or enhancement of their relationship, seek to maintain control over the dispute settlement process, value confidentiality, or want to reach a speedy settlement without damage to their reputations.

Parties to contracts or relationships involving the exploitation of intellectual property often share these goals when a dispute arises. Common examples of such contracts include patent, know how and trademark licenses, franchises, computer contracts, multimedia contracts, distribution contracts, joint ventures, research and development contracts, technology-sensitive employment contracts, mergers and acquisitions where intellectual property assets assume importance, sports marketing agreements, and publishing, music and film contracts.