Mediation FAQs

An alternative, flexible and cost effective dispute resolution service that can take place before, during and after arbitration

Very. In a Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) survey of 1,000+ mediations they found that 75% settled during the mediation and 12% settled within a few weeks after the mediation.

No, but there are a number of good reasons why you should – they have undergone specialist training and are accredited CEDR mediators*; they possess the right qualities to be a mediator; they have knowledge of the cotton trade; they have been specially selected by an ICA panel; they are appointed by the ICA Board

*CEDR – Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution – is the world’s largest conflict management and resolution consultancy. Internationally recognised it provides comprehensive and effective training and is used by many leading international organisations.

Mediations work best when a person feels free to have an open and honest conversation with the mediator so it is more effective to have one or a few close colleagues in the room discussing the dispute with the mediator. One of those attending must be a decision maker and able to agree to any settlement offer without referring it to a manager or more senior colleague.

Yes, but experience shows that if a lawyer has not participated in mediations before, they may have a natural desire to ‘win at any cost’ and find it difficult to accept a compromise position.  On the other hand they can bring a valuable legal dimension, especially in relation to an estimate of future legal costs. Talk to your lawyer and find out how much experience they have of mediations. The mediator will be happy to explain the process to them in depth and guide them as to any expectations in the process.

People will say that they are always mediating in a dispute. That may be the case, but often they are negotiating a settlement or facilitating a settlement. Negotiation occurs between two people or parties and facilitating is when a person acts as a go between. Mediating is a specific skill, involving a neutral third party, who gets the parties involved in a discussion to resolve their dispute using creative solutions. It requires building up trust and rapport with both parties so that that can have an open and honest conversation about what they can or cannot do.

No – surprisingly, most mediations do not settle on reaching a half way compromise. The settlement has to work for both parties and often involves solutions that do not necessarily involve a cash payment – guarantees of future trade for example.

Yes – it is totally confidential.  Any information revealed to the mediator during the course of the mediation will not be revealed to any party unless with their express permission. All offers are made on a ‘without prejudice’ basis and cannot be subsequently revealed in any arbitration or litigation.

A settlement agreement can be made under the laws of both parties concerned. Legal advice should be taken to the effects of that settlement agreement on the law in those respective countries.

None – just like there is no guarantee that a party will not breach a contract in the first place. In both cases you may need to put in place options that will mitigate this risk – for example, if a settlement is reached pre-arbitration then you can have the settlement agreement drawn up in the form of an ICA arbitration award so if a party breaches the agreement then they can be placed immediately on the ICA List of Unfulfilled Awards.

No. Mediation is a voluntary procedure and requires the consent and goodwill of both parties. You can withdraw from a mediation at any stage.

The deposit will cover the cost of any hire of rooms and a percentage of the mediators fees if they require it. Costs will vary depending on location.

Yes, anyone can use the service, even if they have not contracted under ICA Bylaws & Rules – for example, disputes between agents and their principals or firms contracting under other rules where mediation may not be available. All we ask is that non-members pay a small fee to cover our administrative expenses.