Survey Results: Top European Leaders Anticipate Increased use of Mediation

At a groundbreaking summit meeting, convened by CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, one-third of the top-ranking European corporate and legal leaders in attendance forecast that “widely practiced commercial mediation would have a substantial positive impact on stimulating international commerce and European economic growth.” A full ninety percent of attendees expected that mediation’s impact would be beneficial. The meeting was CPR’s first annual European Business Mediation Congress, held on October 21 – 22, 2004, at the Peace Palace, The Hague, Netherlands.

It was generally agreed that the increase in the use of mediation for corporate conflicts (as opposed to litigation) has been phenomenal. Recently the European Commission disseminated a draft directive on mediation, various courts and legislatures are requiring mediation, and leading global corporations are expecting their commercial counterparties to engage in mediation. Mediation has been successfully applied to thousands of cases worldwide, representing billions of dollars. And those numbers are increasing.

CPR has published a Survey on European Business Mediation based upon the research conducted at the Congress, among the 140 attendees. Top-line statistics are as follows:

Who must lead the charge?
Corporations 60%
Law firms 25%
Courts 7%
What will it take to further increase the use of mediation vs. litigation?
81% said that “corporations should proactively invest in formally training their attorneys and managers in negotiation and mediation skills

90% said that law firms seeking to distinguish themselves to corporate clients should invest in formal training of their attorneys in negotiation and mediation skills as a matter of course
The CPR European Business Mediation Congress

The event was attended and headlined by some of the top luminaries in the European legal world. Lord Woolf, Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales gave the keynote address. The Chief Justice joined Judge Pieter Kooijmans of the International Court of Justice, Judge Marcello Marinari of the Milan Court of Appeals, and A. H. van Delden of the Netherlands Council for the Judiciary in the International Peace Palace to discuss the role of the courts in encouraging mediated resolution of business-to-business disputes.

Among the corporate representatives addressing the 140-person assembly were senior representatives of Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, AIG Europe, British American Tobacco, British Nuclear Fuels and Nestle S.A.

Other attendees included representatives of the European Commission, Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Equitas Ltd., MAN Ferrostaal AG, Siemens AG, Fiat S.p.A.,
ConocoPhillips, Shell International, Basic Element Company, Northrop Grumman Corp., and Marsh, Inc.

Most of the 50 largest law firms in the world also attended the Congress.

For a complete copy of survey results, please contact Liz Chatfield, liz@chatfieldpr.com, +1.203.656.2666

About The CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution

The CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution is a pioneer and leader in the area of dispute resolution. In February 2004, CPR received the highest ratings in alternative dispute resolution performance in a survey of General Counsels and their Deputies by Corporate Legal Times. CPR promotes excellence and innovation in public and private dispute resolution, and serves as a primary multinational resource for avoidance, management and resolution of business-related and other disputes. CPR’s wealth of intellectual property and published material has educated and motivated America toward an increased reliance on negotiation rather than litigation. Most recently, CPR in partnership with The China Council for Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) established the
U.S.-China Business Mediation Center in New York and Beijing.

For more information, please visit our web site at www.cpradr.org.

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