As businesses face a new year and a world still coping with massive change and disruption, we look at the role mediation can play in healing rifts and hastening the return to commercial wellbeing.

With the fallout from Covid-19 still being felt in most sectors, many businesses are experiencing problems either directly or with supply chains or other related enterprises. As contracts are breached and difficulties cause a ripple effect, 2021 will, without doubt, be a period of readjustment.

Facing the reality of 2021

In the short-term, revenues are widely expected to be down early in 2021, with growth for the year likely to be small. The Bank of England and the Office for Budget Responsibility anticipate a tick-shaped recession/recovery, with the sharper downturn followed by a lengthier upturn, with recovery between mid-2021 and mid-2022.

As businesses assess the damage, many will make fundamental changes. In this period of settling into a new normal, disputes are likely as companies become unable or unwilling to meet contractual obligations or wish to renegotiate terms.

Weaker enterprises may fail, with a knock-on effect for supply chains. Payment terms may become impossible for some businesses to meet.

The role of mediation

Often, there is little to be gained from taking a confrontational approach. Litigation, or the threat of litigation, will not magically alter difficult circumstances. As well as being expensive and time-consuming, legal action often permanently destroys what was previously a beneficial commercial relationship.

The answer is engaging in expert mediation. You can be sure that, unlike a court case, you will not have a result imposed upon you. In mediation, you will reach a solution with the other party that you are both able to agree upon. The mediator will guide you and offer their commercial expertise in suggesting possible ways forward, but it is for those involved to find the answer.

You may also find a way to continue in a relationship with the other party. The mediator will help you both to look at the bigger picture and understand what is possible for each of you. You will have control of the process throughout and at no point will you be required to agree to anything if you do not wish to do so.

Professional expertise

Businesses who are open to being flexible and working with partners to find innovative solutions stand the best chance of emerging from the crisis stronger and better able to cope with disruption in the future. Engaging a mediator will help those involved in commercial disputes to resolve problems and allow them to move on and focus their time and energy on planning for the future.

Early assistance from a mediator usually offers a stronger chance of success, with parties more willing to work out a compromise before positions become entrenched.

At Lux Mediation, we offer a range of different Dispute Resolution Services, designed to deal with all types and stages of disputes. We are experienced in and understand the subtleties of online mediation. Our mediators have extensive credentials and experience in areas including maritime, international, EU and general commercial and civil law.

If you would like to explore further whether online dispute resolution can help you to resolve a dispute or you have any questions about the process, please call Lux-Mediation on +44 (0)7876 232305 or email mediation@lux-mediation.com.