Efficiency of Mediation in Commercial Disputes with Emphasis on Estonia
Ilona Nurmela, PhD, Pirkka-Marja Põldvere
Any contract or conflict can be mediated just like any international commercial B2B contract dispute can end up in court. Ultimately, the authors are of the opinion that ADR methods are efficient means of dispute resolution and this also applies to mediation, both as stand-alone procedure and in combination with arbitration. While litigation offers a better solution in cases where the conflict really is about the interpretation of a point of law, mediation offers a quicker and better solution in case of deadlocks on business-critical or emotional topics that have ceased to be about the law or the money.
In Estonia, the efficiency of mediation and other ADR methods (with the possible exception of arbitration) still remains to be seen. The usage of mediation in commercial disputes has been rather scarce. However, there are indicative signs of minor improvement – trained professionals are emerging, there is dialogue and there are legal acts that avail the opportunity of mediation. When you consider that every minute the business spends on the dispute is time not spent on developing the business, then quick, flexible and vastly cheaper out-of-court options where the parties can control the result become rather appealing.