Civil and commercial mediation is a structured way of resolving a conflict. It’s a confidential process that is run on a voluntary basis. Individuals or organizations decide to use a neutral, impartial and trained third party in order to assist them finding a specific solution to their conflict through different techniques (notably integrative negotiation). Mediation in civil and commercial matters can take place at all stages of a conflict: before, during or after legal proceedings. Mediation is confidential. Everything said or written in the course of the mediation process is confidential. This means that the meeting content and any written documents regarding the mediation cannot be disclosed by anyone to anybody. It enables the parties to express themselves in a safe environment.

which services do we offer?

  • A team of mediators, all certified by the Belgian Federal Commission of Mediation
  • Mediators working in three languages : French, English and Dutch
  • Mediators with different professional backgrounds and experiences (law, architecture, engineering, accounting, …)
  • Co- mediation services (Co-mediating teams do not necessarily imply additional fees)
  • Mediation coaching and a list of experts trained in mediation
  • Possibility for multiple parties to take part in our mediations, most of the time assisted by their lawyers and if necessary by experts (tax, computer expert etc)
  • Mediation that can be quickly initiated. The average length of a mediation process is between 1 and 3 months.
  • Fees are hourly-based and usually paid in equal shares by the parties except if agreed otherwise. They vary depending on the number of parties and the type of conflict that is being mediated.
  • A session length may vary from 2 to 4 hours depending on the issues at hand.

What is the role of the mediator in civil and commercial matters?

A mediator in civil and commercial matters reestablishes the dialogue and enables a mutual understanding between the concerned parties. He/she assist them in identifying the issues that specifically need to be solved and their respective interests (what is important to the parties). Then, he/she explores the different options (possible solutions), favors a balanced negotiation and ensures a decision by the parties based on objective criteria. The mediator does not take sides (impartiality), does not give his/her opinion and does never personally settle the dispute (neutrality). The reached agreement (described as “wise”) meets the following conditions: it takes into account the principal interests of all parties involved, must last in time and respects the environment made of the third parties impacted by this agreement.

What is the role of the parties?

The parties, in civil and/or commercial mediations, assisted or not by their respective lawyers, decide on a voluntary basis to initiate a mediation. They do so because they think it’s the most appropriate way to settle their conflict. They participate in person. They will take part in the design of the solution, control the risks and protect their reputation. In a context of mutual respect instilled by the mediator, the parties express themselves, listen to each other and reestablish a dialogue. With the mediator’s help, they identify the issues to be solved, explore solution avenues, negotiate in an integrative manner and settle their conflict in a pragmatic way. The solution can be creative and original, while respecting the law.

What is the role of the lawyers in a mediation?

The lawyers assist the mediating parties upon request. They may advise their client on the form and the content of their communication, give legal advices when needed, participate in the creation of resources, assist in the negotiation and draft the final agreement between the parties. Their participation undeniably improves the parties’ preparation before each mediation session and the quality of the reached agreement.

What is the legal framework?

The mediation is regulated by the law of February 21st 2005 which distinguishes mediation in family, civil, commercial and social matters.  The mediators are certified by the Belgian Federal Commission of Mediation. The mediators are subject to the professional secrecy. The law makes a distinction between certified and uncertified mediators. Certified mediators are duly trained in certified training programs. The parties and the mediator sign a document before any mediation called the mediation protocol which provides for the governing rules of the mediation process. At the end of the mediation led by a certified mediator, the agreement can be legally ratified by a judge, who renders a judgment legally binding.