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Mediation and arbitration - the better dispute culture
Mediation and arbitration - the better dispute culture

Video: Mediation and arbitration - the better dispute culture

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Video: Mediation and Arbitration: What You Need To Know 2023, January

Mediation and arbitration are not held in court. For many disputes, you should prefer an amicable settlement. Out-of-court conflict resolution has the advantage that you can look your neighbor in the eye with a clear conscience in the future.

In good neighborhoods, a solution to conflicts is usually found through discussions. If this does not succeed, mediation is an option. The pre-litigation procedure can help to reach an agreement that is cost-saving and easy on the nerves. Most federal states require arbitration before going to court. In Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bremen and Hamburg, lawyers mediate, who are entered in a list at the local bar association. In other federal states, the arbitration boards or arbitration boards are responsible.

Such arbitrators work on a voluntary basis in twelve federal states. They are elected by the city or municipality for a district for five years and confirmed by the district court. The arbitrators are trained and are under the official supervision of the local courts. The procedure costs around 50 euros there, lawyers are more expensive, freelance mediators charge between 150 and 275 euros per hour. Your comparison is not enforceable.

Legal advice and costs

The home and landowners' association also provides legal advice. Anyone who is a member of the Association of German Property Users can get information there and be represented by the courts.

Attorney fees and court costs arise in the arbitration and court proceedings. This does not include the attorney's settlement fee in the event of a settlement. You will incur additional costs if witnesses have to be heard to collect evidence (travel expenses plus hourly rate) or an expert opinion (depending on the effort, 500 to several thousand euros) is necessary. In court proceedings, the entire costs are paid by the one who is subject to.

Arbitration solution

The arbitrator looks for solutions with the parties. Those who stay away from the appointment without an excuse run the risk of being fined in most federal states. Whoever participates in the arbitration process often comes to an end without a court. Often, both sides shake hands again for the first time in the conciliation negotiations and diverge peacefully.

Ablauf Mediation
Ablauf Mediation

You can see on the graphic how arbitration works.

Photo: Central Office for European Consumer Protection

Process and support

If negotiations take place after unsuccessful arbitration, there are double costs. Those who are not covered by legal expenses insurance and cannot pay for the proceedings themselves apply for legal aid from the local court. It is granted if the plaintiff's chances of success are good. If you lose, you have to pay the opposing lawyer despite legal aid. But even in court, many negotiations end with an agreement: the comparison. Both sides share the cost. But whoever loses pays everything. A dispute over 1, 000 euros in the first instance with two lawyers costs around 680 euros, a dispute over 10, 000 euros over two instances costs 8, 820 euros - plus time and nerves


A mediator does not judge, he does not judge in favor of one or the other, but is equally committed to all parties. Unlike the arbitrator, he does not make his own suggestions. Instead, it strengthens communication between those involved. You should voluntarily work out a balancing solution. Mediations are particularly useful when both sides have to deal with each other in the long term.

A mediation for construction disputes has also become established in recent years: "The success rate of 70 to 90 percent is impressive, " says Florian Haas, chairman of the protection association for mortgage lenders. The prerequisite for success is that the parties are ready to compromise. "The parties involved should know their rights and get good advice in advance, " says lawyer Max Gröning from the German Lawyers' Association (DAV). Mediators charge between 150 and 275 euros per hour. Some insurance companies cover the costs. The bottom line is that mediation is rarely cheaper than a process, but often leads to the goal faster. However, each side can break off the talks until the end and go to court.


Anyone who has problems with the bank, insurance company, a tradesman or online retailer as a customer can contact arbitration boards or ombudsmen in the respective branch. These often help troubleshoot problems for free. As a rule, the customer must first complain to the service provider. If the step does not provide a solution, he can request arbitration. Depending on the industry and institution, the procedures run differently - sometimes in oral negotiations, often in writing or electronically. The EU has only formulated principles such as: arbitration boards should be independent, pay attention to efficiency, transparency and fairness. If the consumer wants, he can consult a lawyer. He can also cancel the procedure and still choose the judicial route (also if the company rejects arbitration). Ideally, however, the parties will find an amicable solution.

Anke Weinmar
Anke Weinmar

Anke Weinmar, tax consultant and business mediator and our expert.

The expert explains the advantages of mediation

Mediation is a process for resolving conflicts - without losing. In three out of four cases, the friendly solution was found. And faster than any other method of settling a dispute. “Mediation can be used for various conflicts: bickering among neighbors, disputes during the construction phase, inheritance matters and more. The method is suitable if communication is disrupted or a quick solution is required. Even if the relationship between the parties to the conflict should not be destroyed and going to court is not wanted.


Mediation is generally possible in the event of problems with the tax office. However, it is not yet used by the financial administration. Instead, she referred to the possibility of discussing matters on discussion dates. If the disputes are already before the financial court, mediation is used in quality negotiations. A judge supports the parties in finding solutions independently.

Mediation experts

Pay attention to trained mediators. You will recognize this from your tax advisor by the name 'Specialist Advisor for Mediation (DStV eV)'. With this additional qualification he can support you constructively in conflict situations. You can find advisors in your area at the German Tax Adviser Association.”

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