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How to Start a Mediation
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How to Start a Mediation

If a dispute arises, a party may request the initiation of mediation by delivering a written request for mediation to the other party or parties, with copies to the HKIAC. Such request for mediation should contain a brief self-explanatory statement of the nature of the dispute, the quantum in dispute (if any), the relief or remedy sought and the nomination of a mediator or mediators thought suitable. A full listing of HKIAC accredited mediators can be found at http://www.hkiac.org.


How to Respond to a Request for Mediation

A party who receives a request for mediation should notify the other party and the HKIAC within 14 days after receipt of the request, whether it is willing to mediate, and if so, whether any mediator nominated is acceptable to them. Failure by the party to reply within 14 days shall be treated as a refusal to mediate.

The names, addresses, phone and fax numbers of all parties to the dispute, and those who will represent them, should be exchanged between the parties and also furnished to the HKIAC.


How To Appoint A Mediator

Where the parties agree on a mediator and the proposed mediator is willing to serve, they will so notify the HKIAC. The mediation shall then proceed in accordance with the HKIAC Mediation Rules (the Rules) provided that the parties have stipulated in their contract or by agreement to adopt the Rules. If the parties fail to agree on a mediator, the HKIAC may, in accordance with the Rules, appoint a single accredited mediator who is prepared to serve and is not disqualified under the Rules.

The Rules may be downloaded from http://www.hkiac.org.


Recommended Mediation Clause

The HKIAC and the HKMC recommend that a mediation clause be incorporated in all commercial contracts in anticipation of disputes that may arise. Parties are more likely to agree while negotiating a contract, rather than at the time a dispute arises, that any disputes under the contract are first to be resolved through mediation.

Different clauses can be used to suit the particular needs of the parties. The following is a clause that would be suitable for most domestic, as opposed to international contracts: "Any dispute or difference arising out of or in connection with this contract shall first be referred to mediation at the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) and in accordance with its Mediation Rules. If the mediation is abandoned by the mediator or is otherwise concluded without the dispute or different being resolved, then such dispute or difference shall be referred to and determined by arbitration at the HKIAC and in accordance with its Domestic Arbitration Rules.

Other clauses may be downloaded from http://www.hkiac.org.


HKIAC Mediator Accreditation

The HKIAC has established an accreditation system for mediators which is internationally acknowledged as maintaining the highest standards of training and ethics. HKIAC accreditation safeguards the minimum professional standard of mediation practised in Hong Kong and encourages further professional advancement and helps the Hong Kong public to best utilize the existing mediation expertise available in the territory.

The HKIAC and the HKMC recognise that, other than in family mediations, the skills of a successful mediator need not necessarily include the specialist knowledge related to a particular type of dispute, although a mediator having such specialist knowledge may in some cases facilitate settlement. Accordingly, the accreditation process of the HKIAC for mediators, other than those involved in family matters, does not assess the specialist knowledge of potential panel members. Parties seeking mediation are usually well equipped to recognize the relevance of specialist knowledge and will select a mediator accordingly. The HKIAC fully recognises that in the area of family mediation, specialist knowledge of family law and family dynamics is required.

In light of the above, two panels of accredited mediators are maintained by the HKIAC:

  • General Panel
  • Family Panel

An individual may qualify for both panels, however, the two panels have separate accreditation requirements and procedures. Such requirements and procedures, as well as a full listing of HKIAC accredited mediators, can be found at http://www.hkiac.org.


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