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Qualifying as a mediator in Germany requires potential candidates to comply with various legal requirements. For example, they must undergo initial training & be prepared to continue improving their professional skills on an ongoing basis. In particular, they must ensure that they are competent enough (both theoretically & practically) to render assistance with resolving disputes by mediation in the state of Germany. Upon completion of their training, they must have a sound grasp of:

  • basics of mediation;
  • negotiation methods;
  • dispute resolution;
  • legal aspects of mediation.

Those wishing to start a business in Germany should keep in mind that there’s currently no credit point system in the country for improving qualifications of mediators.

Mediation in the State of Germany: Certification

Settling commercial disputes in the state of Germany requires certified mediators to meet a number of professional requirements, including undergoing compulsory training & having a sound knowledge of minimally required mediation procedures.

One can call themselves a certified mediator only upon undergoing a 120-hour training course & applying at least five procedures for resolving commercial disputes through mediation in the state of Germany within a 2-year period after completion of their training.

Germany: Mediators’ Obligations & Responsibilities

When resolving business disputes in Germany, mediators must ensure compliance with a number of rules. Should they violate any of them, they may be held liable for damage as per current civil legislation. 

German insurance companies offer mediators professional liability insurance; however; it is optional, which is why German mediators aren’t required to meet any minimum insurance requirements.

Those seeking to initiate mediation in Germany should keep in mind that mediation proceedings can be terminated if mediators improperly carry out their duties or engage in misconduct. If that is the case, parties may decline to pay moderators their fee by citing corresponding provisions of contract law.

Germany: Mediation Agreements

Mediators aren’t required to meet any formal requirements for concluding agreements with parties (and the same applies to agreements between parties). Therefore, they’re free to choose what to include & what not to include in their agreements. Those seeking to initiate a commercial mediation in Germany should keep in mind that agreements are usually concluded in written form & include provisions pertaining to rights & duties of mediators & parties.

In particular, they include:

  • dispute’s description;
  • mediators’ duties;
  • description of mediation procedure;
  • guarantees of mediators’ neutrality;
  • privacy clause;
  • confirmation parties’ voluntary participation in the settlement of a dispute by mediation in the state of Germany;
  • description of termination procedure;
  • provisions concerning mediation’s venue & time;
  • description of suspension procedure (if parties already began to settle a dispute by arbitration or litigation in Germany);
  • agreement on extending contractual terms/limitation periods;
  • description of parties' responsibility for covering costs of the mediation procedure.

Conflict of Interest

Prior to initiating mediation procedure in Germany, mediators must:

  • let parties know of circumstances capable of affecting their neutrality;
  • let parties know that a person that has already consulted either of them on a similar issue may not be chosen as a mediator; 
  • let parties know whether one of their colleagues has already consulted one of them regarding a similar issue.

Should they breach any of the above, mediators may be held liable for damages as per current legislation.

Fees

Those seeking to resolve business disputes in the state of Germany should keep in mind that a mediator fee is negotiable. Normally, parties share remuneration-related expenses & agree on mutual liability.

There’s no compensation for mediators’ services if parties are unable to pay a mediator fee. However, German courts can include expenses related to resolving disputes through mediation in the state of  Germany in the overall cost estimate

Conclusion

Overall, settling disputes out of court in Germany is far more effective than initiating litigation. That is precisely why IQ Decision UK recommends resorting to mediation as an effective & relatively inexpensive way of resolving disputes in the state of Germany. Our team of legal advisors will be happy to lend you a helping hand with pre-trial resolution of commercial disputes in Germany & handle any other legal issue you may be facing in this regard.