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Resolving disputes during the Covid19 pandemic – could online mediation be the answer? Image

The economic impact of the Covid19 pandemic has been and will continue to be felt across the globe for some time to come. We are seeing businesses and companies feel the effects on differing levels, from unfulfilled contractual obligations to employment disputes and supply-chain logistics. These are but a few examples of the effects this world wide crisis has effected the commercial world.

With the courts only hearing urgent and essential matters and social distancing rules and regulations in place, parties are not in a position to sit down and negotiate, litigate or resolve disputes in a person to person scenario. Businesses across the globe are used to the simplicity of being able to sit down in a room with an employee or business relation and hash out negotiations or conflicts.

So, how can businesses try and resume some sort of normality in these situations? How can the online world help global business?

Mediation could be the answer.

Mediation is a process whereby a neutral third party, namely the mediator, facilitates negotiation between parties or businesses which have a conflict. The mediator enables them to reach an amicable and acceptable resolution to the dispute at hand.

The wonderful thing about mediation is that it can easily be conducted virtually, with all parties attending from the comfort of their own offices or even their own homes.

With online platforms, such as Zoom, mediators are now trained to conduct mediations virtually.

Depending on the issue, the process of mediation can be quicker than court hearings and is certainly a more cost-effective way to resolve disputes. Businesses can alleviate themselves of the burden of having to pay lawyers and court fees and if all parties voluntarily agree they can have a go at trying the mediation process to settle their dispute.

ISOLAS LLP mediator and senior associate, Marisa Grech, is qualified in online international mediation and has experience in virtual mediations. ISOLAS offers mediation services in both commercial and interpersonal mediation disputes ranging from contractual and employment matters to assisting the mediation between parties to disputes ancillary to separation and divorce.

In a world where everything is moving towards a virtual reality and interpersonal negotiations and meetings are few and far between, we expect to see businesses and employers turning to mediation as a sensible way to resolve conflict.

For more information on the services offered please contact our commercial and interpersonal mediator Marisa Grech at marisa.grech@isolas.gi  

12-05-2020

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