Mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution in which parties voluntarily endeavour to resolve their dispute with the help of a third party, i.e. a mediator. The parties’ willingness to reach a settlement is paramount to the success of mediation. If the parties do not reach a settlement, the dispute may still be settled in proceedings before arbitrator(s) or in court.
The Netherlands Arbitration Institute administers mediation under its NAI Mediation Rules.
The Netherlands Arbitration Institute offers a very general type of mediation. Just as an arbitration clause, a mediation clause may be included as a standard clause in business contracts. Mediation may also be agreed when a dispute has already arisen and no mediation clause has been included in the contract. In both cases, it is advisable to make an arrangement in the event that the mediation does not lead to a resolution of the dispute. This arrangement may entail, for example, that an NAI arbitration clause is included in the agreement after the mediation clause.
The mediation agreement is concluded between the parties and the mediator during the first meeting.
The key advantages resulting from inclusion of the NAI mediation clause in an agreement are as follows:
As with arbitration, the Netherlands Arbitration Institute also acts as the administering body in mediation. The NAI follows the mediation from the moment of the request until the conclusion of the mediation. Independence and confidentiality are important factors. For example, the NAI, as an independent administering body, would never discuss the content of a case. Moreover, no information regarding NAI mediations is disclosed to third parties.
Since all proceedings are customised, it is not possible to provide a detailed cost estimate in advance. The total costs of mediation comprise the following elements: