CEDR, Europe’s largest independent ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) organisation, has updated all of its main model mediation documents and rules at a launch event in London. Since CEDR created a Model Mediation Agreement and Procedure in 1990, along with its ADR Contract Clauses, the documents have become some of the most influential and useful developments in the field, with over 200,000 downloads from the CEDR website.
CEDR's free model mediation documents, part of its not for profit mission, have been modernised to reflect the changing of use of mediation, such as the model clauses are updated to clarify that the parties are agreeing to enter into mediation (or other process) in an attempt to settle the dispute, which is stronger wording, meaning that the parties are expected to attend, as opposed to just consider mediation. In producing the rules CEDR used its knowledge of the 7,000 disputes it handles annually for all ADR processes and in particular the 400 ‘major case’ mediations where the average quantum of claim is well over £1 million (€1.25 million or $1.7 million US).
Other significant changes include wording amended to express in a more forceful way that it is expected from all parties to ensure a person with authority to sign the mediation agreement and settlement agreement is required to attend. The updated model procedure confirms that upon appointment of the mediator, confidentiality applies to all parties involved even when the mediation agreement has not yet been signed. It is now mentioned that all parties, not just the mediator, are required to inform of any potential or apparent conflict of interest if they know of one. The procedure also recognises that on occasions it is necessary for a party to a mediation to participate through telephone or video conferencing.
Dr Karl Mackie CBE, Chief Executive of CEDR, commented, “With the use of commercial mediation continuing to grow significantly it remains important than those working in mediation maintain a level of best practice to ensure that the process is always as successful as possible, in all jurisdictions where it is coming to the fore. As confidence in mediation grows we have been able to usefully strength the language whilst clarifying certain areas to make the model documents and rules accessible to all that may wish to use them.”
A new model document has been created - a Model ADR Notice, which is referred to in a number of model documents. CEDR now provides a model notice for inclusion in correspondence to be used between the parties and a mediation provider to facilitate the start of the ADR Process.
CEDR’s international contract clause, widely used by in-house counsel and transactional lawyers around the world, is now available in six more languages, an increase on the previous 10; Dutch, Greek, Indonesian, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese and Turkish join Portuguese, Japanese, Arabic, Russian, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Spanish, Italian and English.
All documents can be viewed in the free Resources Section of the CEDR website (http://www.cedr.com/about_us/modeldocs/).