What is Commercial Mediation?

What is Commercial Mediation?

What is Commercial Mediation?

Commercial mediation can help individuals and companies resolve their business-related disputes. The field is broad and includes contractual disputes, conflicts between landlords and tenants, disagreements between business partners, and more. Mediation can help resolve all of these situations - while maintaining parties flexibility and their control of the outcome.

By Ehsan Ali and Alnoor Maherali

“Does my dispute count as a commercial mediation?  What does ‘commercial mediation’ accomplish? I know that I’m right, so shouldn’t I just sue them and win?

We get asked these questions regularly by people involved in disputes related to contracts they have signed, agreements with business partners, and making decisions for companies.  When we tell them that nonprofits, small businesses and even individuals can have disputes that could be resolved by commercial mediation, we are often met with surprise. The following are a few different types of disputes that commonly occur and could benefit from the assistance of a commercial mediator like Venn Mediation

Contract Disputes: Say you have a supplier that regularly fails to meet deadlines in shipping items essential to your business, causing cascading supply chain delays for you and your clients.  You’ve spoken to counsel and they’ve advised you about your odds if you file an action for breach of contract.  On the business side, you have a lot of variables to consider.  Perhaps this is a long-term supplier, the issues began recently, and you are not sure why.  Or there is a personal relationship at stake that makes you feel more secure with this supplier than their competitors.  Maybe you are considering the costs of litigation given how much discovery, pre-trial motions, and trial work are ahead of you (not to mention the possibility of appeal).  Depending on the magnitude of the dispute and the duration of the contract, it might be worth it to take the matter to court.  But some part of you might wish that there was another way to handle it. Commercial mediation can help.

Landlord-Tenant: For many individuals and small and large businesses, a lease is a major expense.  And often, leases are the subject of a great deal of stress and conflict.  Landlords and tenants regularly have to negotiate the scope of services, costs, abatement, etc.  And things can get even more complicated when external circumstances – say a global pandemic – place a strain on ability to make payments or provide services.  As the underlying dispute concerns a commercial instrument – a lease – there can be a tendency to take these matters to court. But court can be more expensive and sour the relationship. Commercial mediation can help. 

Internal Business Disputes: In business partnerships, issues inevitably arise.  Even when you and your colleagues have a great rapport, running a business involves difficult decisions and can be stressful.  Unfortunately, this is precisely why so many corporate control and business disagreements end up in lawsuits. And why some business disputes include a deeply personal component that normal litigation and arbitration proceedings fail to address. Often, even if you get the concrete arrangement you were hoping for, the relationship that sparked the business in the first place is lost. Commercial mediation can help with that too.   

These are a few examples that a commercial mediator can help work through. Contract disputes can be resolved in ways that work for all parties. Landlords and tenants can resolve their dispute while preserving and potentially strengthening the relationship. And companies can fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities while maintaining the human touch so important in the modern business world. There is always the possibility of litigation if things don’t work out, but at Venn Mediation we know there’s a better way. Commercial mediation offers you an opportunity to deal with your dispute professionally and provides a space for the full interests to be reflected in the final agreement.

In summary, commercial mediation is mediation of any business dispute. Whether you freelance, own your own business or are part of a larger firm, and whether your dispute involves a contract, lease, or internal business disagreement, commercial mediation can be an invaluable tool to resolving your disputes faster and more effectively than litigation and arbitration. And with an experienced facilitative mediator like Venn Mediation, you can achieve great results while preserving the relationship and keeping control of the process. If you are dealing with a commercial conflict, contact us about the nature of your dispute. We are based in New York but do online mediations as well. We would love to help.

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