What's the Difference between Mediation vs. Arbitration?

People usually try to avoid long litigation. They take time, money, and their results are always unpredictable. That is why a trade off solution to contradictions is gaining momentum.Most businessmen are lost between friendly negotiations and binding arbitration. Therefore, it is necessary to know all nuances for the correct choice of the way for permission a juridical quarrel.

5 Key Differences between Mediation and Arbitration

Conflict regulation remains one of pressing problems in the global world. Participating in dispute, you not only learn the arguments of your enemy but also examine options for its solution. In addition to legal lawsuits, opponents can come to a mutual compromise through arbitration or mediation. True, the mentioned methods differ from each other.

Confidence or Coercion

By its nature, interposition represents a process of discussing collisions at the official level. Despite the fact that a lot of advocates act as proxies and are interested in reaching a compromise, neither side insists on signing a treaty. In this context, arbitrament is more formal. It legally obliges competitors to comply with an arrangement.

Even if the parties later avow the arbitrator's decision as biased, they are ought to obey it, since they risk paying a fine. Thus, choice depends on whether you need the letter of the law or relies on the integrity of your opponent.

Number of Judges

By resorting to a broker, as a rule, you consent with an adversary to hire one consultant. Arbitration provides for the participation of at least three persons who have an equal degree of influence on the final award. You only have to define with the identity of the first referee.

Further, a solution is made according to the majority rule. I.e. arbitration minimizes the likelihood of a biased resolution. Although, on the other hand, the presence of a large number of players leads to complex and confusing situations, while one person formulates a clear agreement.


Mediation often looks more acceptable for companies that do not have huge monetary resources. They cannot afford expensive litigation. Interested parties pay only one check and save a lot of time and effort. However, it is worth remembering that a low cost of services is based on the fact that mediation contracts are not binding.

You may need to spend another time to get your opponent to cooperate with you. Consequently, the high cost of arbitrators is due to the saving of currency in the long term. Of course, if you are absolutely sure of the opponent’s honesty, it is worth choosing the first option. You could find a good intermediary through lawyers or independently, by contacting your staff. They have a list of persons they will contact if necessary.


Naturally, arbitration is not a court, but it involves numerous official instructions. So, each of the parties presents its own view of the case to judges. Afterward, they discuss the options and untie in favor of one of the representatives.

Mediators also argue with opponents, allowing them to intervene in the dialogue at any time. The sides receive a full freedom of action and avoid observance of unnecessary ceremonies. That's why brokers are quite popular. Many users noted satisfaction with an ability to control the theme of negotiations.

They unite enemies in their desire to resolve the dispute peacefully. Intercessors follow the discussion, returning to the topic in case of deviation from it. Such specialists do not allow individuals to turn to personal insults, directing conversation in a purely business channel. A relaxed atmosphere and an opportunity to speak out frankly eliminate strive to continue the strife. The main thing is to present an issue in an objective light.


Although the solution of contradictions involves close contact, only mediation confronts both sides with each other. You and your opponent get a chance to talk, looking into each other's eyes. For a lot of businessmen, such a maneuver facilitates the search for mutual understanding. Most of us feel uncomfortable in formal legal disputes, hiding the progress of the case. It is emotionally hard to discuss publicly personal problems. Be sure to consider your psychological state before making your final choice.

Qualities of an Arbitrator and Mediator

Differences between mediation and arbitrament leave a certain imprint on the experts themselves. Professionals should have a set of competencies and knowledge, involving vast experience and an affinity to learn. The qualities of a brilliant intermediary include:

  • Excellent communication skills;
  • Practical using of psychology;
  • Equilibrium and stress resistance;
  • Charisma;
  • Ability to quickly get into the new business;
  • An adequate response to changes in the situation.

It should be noted a key difference between a mediator and an arbitrator is that intercessors do not have the right to advise on legal issues, even if in the past they were engaged in advocacy. Mediation is confidential in nature. As a rule, contenders agree on the personality of intercessor while the price of his/her services is divided in half. Procedure itself lasts from a few hours to a day. True, if opponents are not interested in the agreement, even the most venerable masters will come to a standstill.

Among the characteristics of an expert's referee are:

  • Excellent knowledge of legislation;
  • Public speaking skills;
  • Oratorical art;
  • Talent to follow formal procedures;
  • Strategic thinking;
  • Firmness and determination.

A reliable moderator must hear evidence and make a fair verdict. The latter should be clearly and concisely argued. If mediators regulate aid, the arbiters issue instructions and await their execution. They scrupulously examine all charges and ask clarifying questions to dispel doubts. Therefore, frequently, in the role of the arbiter is a judge or a senior lawyer. During it, rivals do not conduct backstage negotiations among themselves.

Thus, mediation and arbitration serve alternatives to traditional injunctive sessions. They may attract a neutral side to control the process. But decisions of referees are binding to realization, in contrast to the opinion of intercessors. Nevertheless, intermediary offers a less hostile format for resolving disputes, because opponents are really trying to reach a trade-off, rather than putting everything on the shoulders of the system.