Early Out of Court Settlement: Mediation And Collaborative Law in International Business Disputes

As a US party to an international business dispute, one of your concerns is how to resolve the conflict quickly and effectively so you can get on with your business. If your contract has an international arbitration clause, you may be in the best position to make an informed decision about how to proceed. Since litigating in a foreign country is hard, most of the world has signed the New York Convention (officially, the 1958 United Nations Convention on Recognition of Foreign Arbitral Awards).   This treaty makes arbitration awards often more enforceable in the other party’s country than anything a trial court might award. The arbitration hearing itself may be in a neutral location, too. However, binding arbitration can be a difficult and expensive process. If both parties know what their best alternative to a negotiated agreement involves, they are more likely to try to negotiate a solution in good faith.

If you are in the Boston area, consulting with an international business lawyer in Massachusetts can be a wise decision. Many disputes in this arena can be successfully resolved by using another form of alternative dispute resolution such as mediation or Collaborative Law. When used properly, mediation or Collaborative Law can help parties to an international business dispute manage their risk and save time and money. In mediation, a neutral third party helps bridge the gap between the parties. In Collaborative Law, specially trained lawyers work, either on their own or with their existing counsel, to structure the negotiation process for a positive outcome. Unlike litigation, mediation and Collaborative Law give parties the opportunity to work together and generate a solution that is more closely aligned with their specific needs.

Mediation and Collaborative Law offer a great deal of flexibility for parties to international business disputes. They can be much more effective and efficient than an adjudicated process or even negotiating on your own. Plus, parties that would like to do future business together often find that working through their issues in mediation or through a Collaborative process pave the path for improved communication and a better working relationship. There are almost always alternatives.