Differences Between Mediation & Arbitration

The Differences Between Mediation and Arbitration – yan-krukov-7640796

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods such as commercial mediation and arbitration have become increasingly popular in recent years. While these two approaches share similarities, they also have significant differences, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between commercial mediation and arbitration.


Commercial mediation is a voluntary and confidential process that involves a neutral third party, known as a mediator, who helps parties negotiate and reach a mutually acceptable solution to their dispute. Mediation is an informal process that does not involve strict rules of evidence or procedure. It can be used in various commercial disputes, including contractual, employment, and shareholder disputes. One significant benefit of mediation is its flexibility, as parties can agree on the mediator’s qualifications, location, and time frame for sessions. Additionally, mediation is generally less expensive and quicker than arbitration or litigation.


Arbitration is a more formal process that involves a neutral third party, known as an arbitrator, who renders a binding decision on both parties. Arbitration can be used in various commercial disputes, including contractual, construction, and intellectual property disputes. Unlike mediation, the arbitrator’s decision is final and enforceable, and the process is governed by strict rules of evidence and procedure. However, arbitration also offers greater flexibility than litigation, as parties can agree on the arbitrator’s qualifications, location, and time frame for proceedings. Additionally, the rules of evidence and procedure are generally less formal than those in litigation, making arbitration a more accessible and efficient process.

In conclusion, both commercial mediation and arbitration are valuable ADR methods in resolving commercial disputes. Mediation is a more informal and flexible process that relies on parties’ agreement to reach a mutually acceptable solution. In contrast, arbitration is a more formal and binding process that involves a neutral third party’s decision. Ultimately, the choice between mediation and arbitration depends on the nature of the dispute and the parties’ goals and preferences. By understanding the differences between these two approaches, parties can make informed decisions when selecting an ADR method to resolve their commercial disputes.

For an experienced Mediator to help negotiate a resolution to your commercial dispute contact Ken Strongman. Here.

About the Author: As a professional Mediator and Arbitrator since 2004 Ken Strongman has years of experience and has successfully resolved disputes in the fields of Business/Commercial, Securities, Estates/Probate/Trusts, Real Estate, Intellectual Property, Construction Defects, Construction Contracts, Employment, and Environment. He is also a Mediator and Arbitrator for FINRA

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