Updated on May 17, 2024
Article byKosha Mehta
Edited byAaron Crowe
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

Mediation Meaning

Mediation, in the context of finance, is the process of settling disputes or disagreements between parties via the assistance of a mediator, a neutral third party. Mediation is frequently utilized as an alternative to traditional legal processes, such as litigation, because it may be less expensive and take less time.


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Instead of leaving the decision to a judge or jury, one of the advantages of mediation in finance is that it allows the parties to keep control over the result of the disagreement. In addition, mediation can be less combative than typical legal processes, helping to preserve the parties’ relationships.

Key Takeaways

  • In the mediation process, an impartial third party, known as the mediator, assists the parties in settling their disagreement agreeable to both.
  • Any such settlement that is documented is an enforceable contract. However, the resolution is not binding until it is put into a contract with the agreement of both parties.
  • The parties’ relationship may often be preserved and even improved via the use of mediation, which is a time- and money-saving method of attaining the desired result in the most amicable manner possible.
  • The process of mediation is held in the strictest confidence. Therefore, any information disclosed to the mediators throughout the mediation will remain confidential.

How Does Mediation Work?

The objective of financial mediation is to assist disputing parties in reaching a mutually agreeable conclusion. The mediator facilitates dialogue and negotiation between the parties and may give recommendations or resolution possibilities. However, the parties make the final choice on any settlement or resolution, not the mediator.

Numerous financial conflicts involving contracts, securities, mergers, acquisitions, and other financial transactions are amenable to mediation. It is frequently employed in disputes between financial institutions, such as banks and investment firms, as well as investors and financial experts.

Typically, the mediation process is secret and non-binding, meaning that the parties are not required to accept any settlement or resolution offered by the mediator. In addition, mediation is often voluntary, meaning that the parties must agree to participate.

Overall, mediation is a successful method for resolving financial industry issues. It enables parties to find a settlement quickly and affordably while protecting connections and retaining control over the outcome.

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Process Stages

The process of financial mediation normally entails the following stages:

#1 – Preparation

Before the mediation begins, the parties normally prepare any papers or evidence they intend to provide to the mediator. In addition, the mediator will examine all pertinent material and prepare for the mediation session.

#2 – Opening Session

The mediator will identify themselves during the opening session and explain the process. There will also be a chance for the parties to explain their perspectives and describe their intended conclusion.

#3 – Private Session

After the initial session, the mediator often met with each side, known as “caucuses.” This enables the parties to discuss the disagreement in greater depth and express any concerns or issues they may not choose to discuss in front of the other party.

#4 – Settlement Negotiations

After the private meetings, the mediator will engage with the parties to support talks and assist them in reaching a mutually acceptable settlement. The mediator may give recommendations or choices for settling the issue, but the parties make the ultimate decision.

#5 – Closing Session

If a settlement is achieved, the mediator will describe the agreement in writing, and the parties will sign it. If no agreement is achieved, the mediator will advise the parties that the mediation has concluded, and they are free to pursue alternative options, such as arbitration or litigation.

#6 – Followup

After the mediation session, the mediator will monitor the agreement’s implementation to verify that it is being carried out correctly.


#1 – Assistive Mediation

This strategy focuses on assisting the parties in communicating effectively and identifying their solutions to the conflict. The mediator works as an impartial facilitator and does not enforce choices or solutions.

#2 – Evaluative Mediation

In this technique, the mediator evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s case and predicts the probable outcome if the disagreement were to proceed to trial. The mediator may also provide settlement recommendations.

#3 – Directive Mediation

It is comparable to evaluative mediation, but the mediator is more active in providing solutions and pressuring the parties to settle.

#4 – Transformational Mediation

It focuses on assisting the parties in recognizing and resolving the emotional and psychological factors driving the disagreement. For example, the mediator may employ active listening, empathy, and self-reflection to assist the parties in transforming their relationship and resolving the conflict.


Example #1

A disagreement occurs between two businesses about a merger agreement. The firms may utilize mediation to address issues over the agreement’s provisions, such as the acquisition price or division of liabilities. In addition, the mediator may employ a facilitative strategy to assist the parties in communicating effectively and identifying mutually acceptable solutions.

A dispute over a loan default between a bank and a customer: The bank and the consumer may utilize mediation to resolve the loan repayment issue. The mediator may employ an evaluative strategy, examining the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s case and giving settlement recommendations.

Example #2

An article by CTV news highlights a recent mediation case and its outcome. In a contract dispute affecting 11,000 federal public workers working in technical services, the federal government and the Public Service Alliance of Canada have agreed to enter into mediation.

In May, the union, demanding major salary increases, announced an impasse in the talks between the two parties, ultimately leading to failure. The study urges both sides to make their goals crystal apparent, share information with one another, and temper their respective expectations.

Advantages And Disadvantages

#1 – Benefits

  • Mediation is often more cost-effective than traditional legal methods, such as a lawsuit.
  • Typically, it may be concluded more rapidly than conventional judicial processes.
  • In most cases, mediation is confidential, meaning the parties’ talks and settlement agreements are kept private.
  • Versatile: Unlike court-ordered decisions, mediation provides for various possible resolutions.
  • Typically, mediation is voluntary, meaning the parties must agree to engage in the process.
  • Relationship Preservation Mediation can be less combative than typical legal processes, which can aid in preserving the parties’ relationships.
  • Instead of placing the decision in the hands of a judge or jury, mediation allows the parties to keep influence over the resolution of the disagreement.

#2 – Negative Aspects

  • Mediation is a non-binding procedure. Therefore, the parties are not required to accept any suggested settlement or conclusion.
  • In some situations, one side may have more power or resources than the other, making it harder for them to bargain successfully during mediation.
  • In certain areas of law, mediators may not have the same degree of competence or experience as a judge or jury.
  • There is no assurance that a settlement will be found through mediation. It may not be appropriate for all situations.
  • Lack of enforceability: Mediation agreements are not enforceable by the court. The opposing party may have limited alternatives for enforcing it if one of the parties fails to comply.

Mediation vs Moderation

  • Mediation is the process of settling disagreements or conflicts between parties via the help of a mediator, a neutral third party. A moderator simply works as a facilitator, leading the debate and ensuring everyone has an equal opportunity to speak and participate.
  • Mediation is frequently utilized as an alternative to conventional legal procedures, such as litigation. In contrast, moderation is moderating or guiding a conversation, meeting, or event.
  • Mediation is often used within and among organizations to resolve conflict. Whereas group conversations, public gatherings, and online forums frequently employ moderation to ensure that the debate remains on-topic and that all opinions are heard.
  • Mediation is the act of settling disagreements via the use of a neutral third party. In contrast, moderation is directing or managing a debate, meeting, or event.

Mediation vs Conciliation

  • A neutral third party, known as a mediator, assists disputing parties in communicating effectively, identifying their solutions to the conflict, and reaching a mutually agreeable conclusion. The conciliator is more active in presenting solutions to the parties and may make recommendations.
  • The mediator does not make choices or enforce solutions. Rather, they assist the parties in reaching an agreement via negotiation. The outcome of conciliation might be binding to both parties if it was agreed upon mutually.
  • In addition, the conciliator may be an expert in the subject of the dispute and may provide an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s case. But on the other hand, the mediator is mostly not an expert in the matter of which differences are there.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is mediation legally binding?

The agreement reached through mediation is not legally enforceable in any way. This indicates that the parties, even though they have agreed to submit a dispute to mediation, are not required to continue with the process after the first meeting, even though they have already agreed to do so.

How long does mediation take?

Mediation often takes place over a full day; however, after the parties have reached an initial agreement, the remainder of the process moves through at a more expedited pace.

Is mediation confidential?

The procedures of the mediation are held in the strictest confidence. If the mediation was successful, the mediator should provide the parties’ signed settlement agreement to the court without stating anything that took place during the mediation sessions.

This has been a guide to Mediation and its meaning. We compare it with moderation & conciliation & explain its process, advantages, disadvantages & examples. You can learn more about finance from the following articles –