Mediation & arbitration solicitors

To speak with an expert commercial litigation solicitor about mediation or arbitration issues contact us on 0203 816 9303. Our solicitors understand how distressing commercial disputes can be and with this in mind have created a format that not only saves you time and money, but eases the stress involved in what could be a difficult time for business owners.

We have the expertise you need to manage a dispute effectively and make sure mediation and arbitration issues are handled correctly with a focus on achieving the best outcome for you and your business.

loading staff

What is the difference between mediation and arbitration?

In short, mediation is where a neutral party, the appointed mediator, encourages and facilitates a solution without ever imposing (or forcing) a solution upon the parties involved in the dispute.

When a dispute goes into mediation, the neutral third party will try to encourage both sides to consider more than just their legal rights. They will aim to encourage both parties to take into account their best interests, including their commercial interests with the aim to get parties to agree to terms that are beneficial for both sides. 

If these negotiations are successful the parties will enter into a legally binding agreement.

Arbitration is where a decision is made by an appointed third party and is a legally binding decision. All parties involved are bound by this decision which is made by the arbitrator. Often certain contracts such as JCT contracts contain a requirement for the parties to resolve any disputes by using arbitration.

In this case, and similar to court proceedings, arbitration can be frustrating for certain parties as the outcome can be beneficial for one and detrimental for another.

Mediation vs arbitration, which is the best option for me?

Mediation is usually the best option for businesses looking to settle a dispute as the outcome can be mutually beneficial as it is decided between the two parties. If mediation is not successful then the parties still have the option of proceeding to court for a determination.

Essentially, mediation results in a win-win scenario for both parties as they are able to take into account their commercial interests. A mediator has no power to impose a settlement upon either party, but merely facilitates the negotiations.

Mediation takes far less time than arbitration and costs far less.

Arbitration is usually the best option when both parties cannot come to an agreement. It may be required under the terms of the contract.  This can happen when negotiations break down or where one or both parties are being particularly difficult. Arbitration is still a cheaper option to litigation, yet can be more time consuming than mediation.  

When an issue is taken into arbitration, the outcome is decided by an expert third party, usually an arbitrator. It can be particularly beneficial in technical cases where an expert in that particular field will reach a determination. They will take into account all the evidence and issue a final award based on their findings.

If you are currently involved in a commercial dispute and wish to discuss your options, contact the expert solicitors at Stephensons on 0203 816 9303.

9.1 out of 10
Trustpilot logo5-stars on trustpilot Based on count 478

We're Great

It is our business to deliver legal services that work for our clients, and you can trust our specialists to take care of things on your behalf.

Our Trustpilot reviews

The situation was very personal and at times very distressing but Stephensons were extremely professional but also empathetic.
View from a commercial litigation client

Appeal Court finds business rates have been incorrectly charged on ATMs since 2010

Supermarket, shop and petrol station owners who have previously been charged business rates for having an ATM located on their premises may be eligible for refunds. In 2013 it was decided that external facing ATMs should be treated as separate...

Read more

Twitter commercial

Huge proportion of disability discrimination claims prompt calls for action

People with disabilities continue to overwhelmingly claim to be the main victims of discrimination under the Equality Act, according to new figures released by national law firm Stephensons. Out of the 1,725 cases the law firm dealt with under the act...

Read more

Commercial reorder

  • Jonathan Chadwick
  • Louise Hebborn
  • David Baybut
  • Kate Bullen
  • Chris Graves
  • Alistair Gregory
  • Philip Richardson
  • Julie Ball
  • Martha McKinley
  • Paul Davies
  • Jonathon Waterhouse
  • Christopher Carney
  • Jessica Charnock
  • Matthew Halton
  • Julie Hunter
  • Adam Pennington​​
  • Andrew Whitehead
  • Mark Williams​
  • Christopher Marsden
  • Natalie Waddington
  • Neil Marshall
  • Declan Gilroy​
  • ​Kerrie Ainscough
  • Matthew Smith

We're always here for you

As an award-winning top 150 law firm, with over 450 staff based in offices across the country, you're never far from the advice you need.

Find your nearest Stephensons office and arrange a meeting

As an award-winning top 150 law firm, with over 450 staff based in offices across the country, you're never far from the advice you need.