Mediation and arbitration
This chapter provides a brief introduction to mediation in relation to resolving disputes that would otherwise be determined in London arbitration. Mediation agreements in shipping contracts are relatively rare. Most shipping contracts contain a relatively simple arbitration clause: if the parties decide to mediate after a dispute has arisen then they will usually conclude an additional mediation agreement. The 2009 Mediation Terms envisage the commencement of a mediation procedure whereby the parties to a dispute appoint a single mediator to take appropriate steps to assist the parties in reaching an amicable settlement. All stages of the mediation will be confidential and generally the information or views exchanged within the mediation must not be used subsequently in arbitration or for other purposes. The costs of mediation which took place before the arbitration would probably not be recoverable, in ordinary circumstances, unless the mediation was a condition precedent to arbitration and could therefore be said to be incidental to the arbitration itself.