Dispute resolution, mediation and arbitration

As an entrepreneur, you need to be aware that sometimes it may be necessary to enforce your rights by resorting to legal proceedings.  

For example, this may be the case when a contract partner defaults on his contractual commitments, while it is also not uncommon to find your contract partner’s interpretation of the terms of the contract very different from what you had envisaged.  

So it may be the case that you find yourself dealing with your contract partner’s successor entity, with the legal succession in itself acting as grounds for conflict. Sometimes, you may also find a third party attempting to prejudice your legal status.  

If you are operating in international trade, the same type of conflicts may arise abroad, and you may find yourself facing foreign courts of law where the dispute is settled in observance of what to you is foreign law.  

This is why it is important to lay down the framework in observance of which any prospective disputes are to be settled when concluding any kind of agreement. In addition, from the very outset due focus of attention needs to go out to the applicable law that will govern the contract.  

Disputes do not necessarily need to be pursued before the courts.  

Alternative types of dispute settlement include arbitration and mediation.  

Especially when you are concluding a contract with a foreign party, arbitration is likely to prove the most appropriate method of settling disputes, as this gives both parties the certainty that their dispute will not end up being settled before the official courts of law of their contract partner’s country but by a neutral third party. Moreover, this method leaves the parties with a considerable degree of leeway in determining the way in which the arbitration procedure is to be organised.  

For example, the number of arbitrators can be agreed ahead of time - even involving the appointment of one or several arbitrators at that early stage -, the location and the language of the arbitration procedure can be established by mutual arrangement and the same applies to the applicable law.  

Mediation can be arranged in complement to court proceedings or in complement to arbitration, but also as a method of dispute settlement that is separate from either of these two.  

Even if a dispute has already been brought before a court of law or an arbitration panel where it is still pending, the parties can still agree to opt for mediation.  

Everest has all the necessary expertise to assist clients in drafting a dispute settlement clause, which may involve arbitration and/or a mediation clause, but also to assist them in instigating proceedings before a court of law or an arbitration panel and to obtain accompanying measures from the courts (such as attachment procedures, the appointment of a custodian, ...).  

And once a court ruling or a judgement from the arbitration tribunal has been handed down, Everest can also assist you with the enforcement thereof.  

Insofar as no conflicts of interest arise, Everest’s lawyers are also available to act as arbitrators and/or mediators.