Find Lawyers in Cologne, Germany for Arbitration and Mediation
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Arbitration and Mediation - Cologne, GermanyAbout this Practice Area
Jörn Zons is a lawyer and partner at Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner in Cologne. Jörn’s main focus lies on German and international construction and engineering projects as well as domestic and international dispute resolution in litigation, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution proceedings. He is also a regular referee on German and international construction and engineering projects and dispute resolution at seminars, associations and in-house for compan...
Arbitration and Mediation Definition
Arbitration is a special form of jurisdiction which the parties have to agree upon specifically – generally through a provision in a contract or a separate agreement. Different to a state court action, the parties can tailor the arbitral proceedings to their particular needs: For instance, the parties may choose the language of the arbitration, the exact procedure to be followed, and even the arbitrators themselves. Further strong points of arbitration are, in general, the confidentiality of the proceedings and that arbitral awards are easier to enforce internationally than state court judgments.
There are a number of national and international institutions that have established standardized rules for arbitral proceedings, such as the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the German Institution of Arbitration (DIS), or the Swiss Chambers’ Arbitration Institution. The parties can opt for the application of these institutional rules or to conduct an ad hoc arbitration. In an ad hoc arbitration the parties have the possibility to individualize the proceedings even further, or to leave such questions to the experience of the arbitrators. Once an arbitration agreement has been concluded, a party cannot file a lawsuit in a state court anymore - unless the other party consents to waive the arbitration agreement.
Mediation is a negotiation method to resolve differences in a (business) relationship which is conducted by an independent, impartial, and respected third party. Unlike an arbitral tribunal, a mediator has no legal powers to issue a binding judgment on the case. Instead, the mediation process is aimed at enabling the parties to reach an amicable settlement themselves. Such amicable settlement can be particularly valuable, if the parties are intending to continue their business relationship in the future.
Mediation and Arbitration can be combined – as a first step, parties often try to resolve their dispute through mediation; only if an amicable settlement cannot be reached, the parties submit their dispute to an arbitral tribunal in order to obtain a binding and final judgment on the case.
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