Lawyer Monthly - August 2022

their goal is to have a final and binding decision with limited appeal. Mediation can only proceed when the two parties agree to it, have a clear case, want a good business relationship and wish to have a neutral opinion on a question of genuine conflict. Are there any unique considerations to be taken into account when beginning mediation in marine construction and dredging works? Yes, absolutely. I would advise all parties that, before commencing the mediation, they should first assess whether mediation is suitable for their particular dispute. They should also check the timing of the mediation in relation to the stage at which the dispute has reached. Often, in the case of complex issues, an early mediation may be more successful than a mediation that occurs later. It is advisable to select an experienced mediator skilled in the mediation process, familiar with the industry, and in whom both parties have complete trust. It would be pertinent to quote Mahatma Gandhi’s experience when he settled a case by way of ADR: “Both were happy with the result, and both rose in public estimation. I had learnt the true practice of law. I realised that the true function of a lawyer was to unite parties riven asunder”. It is also important to evaluate if there is a need for more than one mediator if the dispute relates to a complex matter requiring technical advice by co-mediators or if the parties belong to different nationalities with diverse WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM | AUG 2022 54 THOUGHT LEADER - KUNAL MISHRA cultural practices. Since mediation is an interest-based negotiation and aimed at protecting the parties’ relations, it is expected that parties should shed their totalitarian instincts during the process. How have you witnessed mediation in marine construction and dredging matters develop during your time as a practitioner? The recent developments in commercial mediation in the UAE, such as the Mediation Law and ADGM’s courtannexed mediation, have paved the way for mediation to become popular. It is my opinion that these developments are encouraging parties to opt for mediation and that this will help them to appoint a talented and impartial mediator to resolve the dispute in marine construction and dredging industry matters in the UAE. Since this industry is unique and because there are so few players, I have experienced that the parties always try to settle their disputes through mediation to protect their business interests. Furthermore, I have noted that the parties have great respect for the mediator and they try not to withdraw from the mediation process. These peculiarities are unique to marine

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