In early 2011, the German Federal Cabinet passed a draft bill to promote the use of mediation in Germany in accordance with the EU Guideline on Mediation. The draft bill is now going through the final stages of review and will soon be enacted in Germany. While the new German law does not make mediation mandatory in Germany, as it is in some Canadian provinces, it goes a long way to establish mediation as a preferred method of resolving legal disputes in Germany.
Aside from her legal qualifications, Sylvia Jacob is a certified business mediator trained by the German Chamber of Commerce in Munich. She has many years of experience in assisting business people to resolve their economic disputes by finding creative business solutions for themselves.
In Germany, business mediation is a voluntary proceeding in five clearly defined steps by which the parties involved in a legal dispute can, with the assistance of a qualified mediator, enter into a direct dialogue to resolve their economic issues by themselves devising creative solutions which then flow into an agreement on how they want to work together in future.
Aside from its voluntary nature, the key element of mediation is that the proceedings are confidential. Even if the parties decide to break off their mediation, the matters discussed cannot be disclosed, whether by the parties themselves or by their mediator.
Mediation has the advantage that the parties to a dispute are able to resolve it by acting together. There is no judge or third party arbitrator to pass judgment on the matter and make one party the winner and the other the loser. A further advantage is that mediation is both cost effective and time efficient. Most of all, however, it treats the parties as autonomous and equal.
The special quality that Sylvia Jacob brings to her mediations is her understanding of and ability to bridge the cultural differences between Europe and North America while empowering the parties to find effective solutions that reflect their business needs. Her strength as a mediator is to facilitate.