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  • Writer's pictureManon Schonewille

8 New Developments in International Commercial Mediation

Updated: Feb 13

Anticipating IMI’s Mediation Soirée

The Mediation and Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR) landscape is dynamic, underscoring the need for everyone involved in dispute resolution to explore emerging trends and evolving user needs. In this blog, we delve into anticipated insights from the upcoming IMI International Mediation Soirée, scheduled for Tuesday, February 6, 2024, at De Gaulle Fleurance and Associes in Paris, France, as part of the ICC Mediation Week.

Ivana Nincic (IMI Executive Director) and Pierrick le Goff* (DGFLA, IMI Chair) will host the evening.

Whether you are a seasoned legal professional or a mediation enthusiast, this event promises to deepen your understanding of the field and provide practical takeaways for navigating the complexities of cross-border disputes.

Panel Descriptions:

The event will feature two panels:

Panel 1: Mediation as a Catalyst for International Trade

  • Moderated by Prof. David S. Weiss* (Rutgers University), this panel will explore mediation policy and innovation, highlighting its crucial role in supporting international trade and trade centers. Discussions will encompass various international frameworks on a regional level, demonstrating how mediation acts as a bridge to support economic cooperation globally.

Panel 2: Developments in International Commercial Mediation

  • Moderated by Angela Herberholz* (Herberholz Mediation Services), this session will delve into the latest trends and strategies shaping the landscape of international commercial dispute resolution. Topics include new business models, Mixed Modes, ESG, and new technologies.



IMI International Mediation Soirée:

The focus of this article centers on the themes that will be explored in Panel II: New Developments in International Commercial Mediation, with panelists:

  • Géraldine Scarfoglière, representing Alstom (France)

  • Harold Coleman, affiliated with (USA)*

  • Manon Schonewille, Mundi Mediatores & The Academy of Legal Mediation (The Netherlands)*

  • Samantha Nataf, contributing insights from DGFLA (France)



8 Anticipated Developments:


1. Global Synergy in ADR Development:
  • Anticipating an increased global discourse among users and providers, fostering collaboration on essential changes in the ADR landscape, including discussions on universal best practices and standards.

2. Uptake of and innovations in Mixed Modes:
  • Foreseeing a  continued surge in interest regarding diversified approaches. Users are likely to seek a blend of evaluative and non-evaluative processes, offering flexibility for resolving disputes of varying scales and the best of adjudicative processes (guaranteed outcome) combined with collaborative/facilitative processes (interest base business solutions).

  • Several leading ADR organisations are now offering mixed mode advisory and diagnostic services. 

3. Holistic Expertise of ADR-Neutrals:
  • The expectation is for users to seek ADR-Neutrals with a comprehensive skill set, encompassing both subject matter and procedural expertise. This holistic approach ensures a more nuanced and effective dispute resolution process.

4. Diverse ADR-Neutral(s) & In-depth Profiles:
  • Anticipating users demanding more detailed information about ADR professionals, emphasizing diverse panels with comprehensive details on personalities, cultural backgrounds, and previous cases handled. This offers a tailored and informed selection process.

  • A new generation of service providers is appearing, acting as catalysts to facilitate access to ADR and connecting users and mediators through shortlisting services (e.g.,

  • Addressing issues like the users wish to engage in hybrid processes, receive in-depth profiles and be offered holistic expertise by mediators, through focusing on ways to reduce obstacles to improve the use of ADR mechanisms safely and simply. 

5. Advancements in Technologies and ODR:
  • Envisioning a broader adoption of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR), driven by continuous improvements in various technologies like videoconferencing.

  • This anticipates a more seamless and efficient resolution process, especially in the virtual realm. It also anticipates many changes in the legal landscape including ADR.

6. Heightened Emphasis on Relationships:
  • Beyond cost and time considerations, expecting a growing recognition of the value of relationships for even more users. This could entail a shift towards mediation and negotiation processes that prioritize preserving business relationships, fostering a cooperative atmosphere in dispute resolution.

7. Shift Towards Collaborative Advocacy:
  • Anticipating more users expressing a desire for legal counsel adept in mediation and interest based negotiation skills. This shift implies a departure from traditional adversarial approaches, promoting a more cooperative and solution-focused advocacy style.

  • Investing in learning mediation and negotiation skills will be a gamechanger to take full advantage of the new developments. It can also contribute to a futureproof business as these inter-human skills are not likely to be seized up by AI developments in the foreseeable future.

8. Corporate Social Responsibility, ESG and sustainability in ADR:
  • The expectation is for corporate social responsibility principles, including Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors, to gain prominence in the ADR landscape.

  • This aligns with a broader societal trend towards sustainability and responsible business practices. 

  • The emergence of the mediator’s green pledge is a further important step towards sustainability both in terms of environmental and in the social and governance aspects of dispute resolution.


Event Information:

More information on the event can be found on IMI’s website here.



As we look forward to these developments to be explored in depth and the insights to be shared during the IMI International Mediation Soirée, the ADR landscape stands on the precipice of transformative change. The collaborative efforts set to be showcased during this event will contribute to shaping a future of dispute resolution that is more adaptable and responsive to the needs of a dynamic global environment and business users of mediation services.



* IMI Board Members


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