Practical guide of Mediation

MEDIATION ACCORDING TO GREEK LAW: PRACTICAL GUIDE - Q&A:

Ι. Introduction to the Greek Law on Mediation.

It is by Greek Law no 3898/2010 that Mediation was first introduced in the Greek legal system. Mediation is a very successful process of alternative dispute resolution (A.D.R.). It is worth mentioning that 96% of Civil Disputes are nowadays resolved through Mediation in the U.S. Mediation is appropriate for disputes of various kinds, (i.e. family, lease agreements, commercial, construction, real estate, damages, supplier - customer or banking law disputes), provided they are not subject to the application of mandatory Greek Law provisions (public order provisions).
Mediation is a structured process, in which parties to a dispute and their lawyers meet at a neutral location and negotiate a solution while being assisted by a neutral third party, specialized in negotiation techniques and psychology, the Mediator. Within a working day, a mutually satisfactory and acceptable solution (”win win” solution) is sought, which will lead to an agreement drafted by the lawyers present. For clarification purposes, ten (​10) essential practical questions on Mediation are hereinafter answered. For more details, do not hesitate to contact us.

ΙΙ. 10 Essential Practical Questions-Answers on Mediation according to Greek Law:

1. What is Mediation?
Mediation is a structured process, in which parties to a dispute and their lawyers meet at a neutral location and negotiate a solution while being assisted by a neutral third party, specialized in negotiation techniques and psychology, the Mediator.
Within a working day, a mutually satisfactory and acceptable solution (”win win” solution) is sought, which will lead to an agreement drafted by the lawyers present.

2. Who participates in a Mediation process?
The parties to a dispute, their lawyers and the Mediator.

3. How long does it last?
Mediation usually lasts up to one (1) working day (8 hours)

4. How much does it cost?
Mediation related fees (i.e. lawyer’s, Mediator’s fees) are freely determined and agreed between the parties, their lawyers and the Mediator; Mediator’s fees are equally shared between the parties.
The related fees and costs are quite competitive given the possibility of a swift dispute resolution and the avoidance of time-consuming court litigations and related expenses.

5. Which is the “added value” provided by the Mediator’s presence and his/her expert contribution to the negotiation between the parties?
The Mediator is an expert in negotiations and masters psychology principles and related techniques; he/she is capable of unblocking dead-end conversations and defusing tensions. He also assists -in a neutral and even-handed manner- all parties in expressing themselves, restores dialog between them and helps them find tangible and mutually beneficial (”win win”) solutions.
The Mediator is the “good conductor” of peace and productive dialog, who contributes in safekeeping the efficient conversation between the parties and their progress towards the resolution agreement.

6. Does Mediation lead to a binding agreement?
The parties freely resort to Mediation. They are even-handedly informed by the Mediator on the process’s nature and legal framework.
If parties agree on bringing their dispute to Mediation, they sign a mediation contract, so as for the Mediation process to take place. If Mediation results in an amicable resolution agreement, this agreement, once signed, will be binding for the parties. Under specific conditions provided by Greek Law, this agreement can become enforceable and have the binding force of a court decision.

7. If Mediation fails, do parties still have the right to bring their dispute to courts?

Mediation can take place prior to or in parallel with the launching of a legal action before courts. If Mediation fails, parties can still bring their dispute to court or (if a legal action has already been launched) proceed with the court hearing of their case.

8. If Mediation fails, can parties use or divulge whatever was said in Mediation before courts? Can the Mediator be summoned as witness at a court hearing?
No – The procedure is strictly confidential and according to Law 3898/2010, it is strictly prohibited that a Mediator and any other person having participated in a Mediation is heard as a witness before courts regarding what has been said or done during the Mediation process.

9. What kind of cases can or cannot be resolved through Mediation?
Mediation is appropriate for private law disputes of various kinds, (i.e. family, lease agreements, commercial, construction, real estate, damages, supplier - customer or banking law disputes), provided they are not subject to the application of mandatory Greek Law provisions (public order provisions). Parties cannot, for example, dissolve their marriage by means of an agreement reached though Mediation, since mandatory Greek Law provisions give this authority to courts exclusively. They can resolve disputes they may have with an associate, a supplier, a lessee/lessor or -in a family dispute- with a companion or a husband/wife (for common property or alimony issues)

10. Our Mediator’s Contact Details:
Spyros Antonelos
Lawyer – Accredited Mediator
Member of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in London since 2009
Member of the Athens Bar Taskforce for the Bar’s Mediators Training Centre.
8, Kazantzi street 11743 Athens Greece
Tel: (+30.) 210.36.16.493
Fax: (+30.) 210.92.18.151
Email: antoneloslaw@gmail.com
Website: www.antoneloslaw.gr

ΙΙΙ. Summary : The main benefits of resorting to Mediation:

  • It is a short process: it usually lasts one (1) working day (up to 8 hours).
  • It is confidential and what is said/done in Mediation cannot be used before courts.
  • Parties are fully involved in a Mediation process and they are the only ones who can resolve their dispute.
  • Mediation leads to a binding agreement, which -under specific conditions provided by Greek Law- can become enforceable (bear the force of a court decision).
  • Mediation can unblock dead-end situations and reignite productive dialog and negotiations.