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ARTICLE – Cross-border mediation: the same, but different …

By Manon Schonewille

Mediator and Attorney-at-Law, ADR Partners Serbia – ADR Center Global Partner

Ondernemingsrecht 2016/11 Kluwer Publishing
(English translation from the original Dutch publication)

1. Introduction

Contrary to what you might think, cross-border mediation is more than ‘ordinary mediation’, only in English, with partners from different countries. For businesses that operate internationally, mediation is a good way to limit legal and business risks and it is important to be well prepared for it.

Challenges in cross-border mediation may lie in the different expectations the parties have about what mediation entails, who takes part in it, in which country it will take place, in which language it will be conducted and what law will apply to the mediation proceedings. If points like this are not identified beforehand, the mediation process itself may give rise to a new dispute with all the associated consequences.

Drawing examples from a (fictitious) international case2 involving contract law, this article presents an overview of the possible pitfalls and above all provides tips about what you should be aware of with regard to cross-border mediation.