This paper sets out the expectations of corporate users regarding dispute settlement mechanisms. It highlights the current situation and developments, evaluates them and concludes with suggestions for improvement. The paper reflects my experiences as a German in-house attorney and lawyer in the field of dispute resolution. It is loosely based on a speech I gave at the 16th “Mediation Conference” (Mediations-Kongress) in Berlin on 27 June 2014. This conference was organised by the “Center for Mediation” (Centrale für Mediation) and focussed on the diversity of ADR methods and their fields of application.
The paper is divided into four parts. The first part deals with the question as to why legal disputes have become increasingly important for corporate users over the years (I.). The second part explains the expectations and wishes companies have with respect to dispute resolution mechanisms (II.). The third part focuses on two dispute resolution methods, arbitration and ADR and evaluates them (III.). The paper concludes with a few suggestions for improvement (IV.).
I. Current Situation and Trends
Dispute resolution has become increasingly important for corporate users. The number of legal disputes has grown (1.), and so have the amounts in dispute (2.). In addition, nowadays, because of business transactions becoming more and more globalised, legal disputes often involve parties from different jurisdictions. This development poses additional challenges for dispute resolution proceedings (3.).