Fast Track Mediation Rules have been introduced in the Milan Chamber of Arbitration, a useful settlement tool for parties.

The Milan Chamber of Arbitration recently enacted its Fast Track Mediation Rules (FTMR).

The FTMR represent a useful tool for the purpose of reaching an out-of-court settlement between the parties. Under the FTMR the parties are given the opportunity of appointing the mediator, which is particularly helpful when it comes to parties from outside of the jurisdiction. As a matter of fact, the parties can decide to appoint a mediator of a given nationality for the purpose either of increasing the level of impartiality (a principle by which mediators must always abide) or of choosing a mediator who speaks the parties’ mother tongue fluently.

There is also the advantage for the parties of being able to choose the mediator from a selected list, comprising professionals with specific skills and competencies. It goes without saying that having a mediator who has the appropriate technical background with respect to the subject matter of the dispute may significantly increase the chances of the parties reaching a settlement.

The mediation process is driven by the mediator on an informal basis. The mediator will convene separate and/or joint meetings with the parties with the purpose of facilitating an amicable process. Usually the meetings are held at the offices of the Milan Chamber of Arbitration or, subject to the agreement of the parties, the mediator and the Chamber, in any other different venue. When the parties cannot all be physically present, such meetings can be held also remotely (eg via videoconference).

The mediator’s role is to be a facilitator and not to act as judge. In fact, he is not to rule or take any decision on the merits of the case and only the parties request it can he provide them with a non- binding settlement proposal if it is deemed possible and appropriate in the circumstances.

Confidentiality is ensured to the widest extent possible, in that recording and transcription of any statement and/or settlement proposal made by either party, their respective lawyers and consultants and/or the mediator is strictly prohibited. In addition, any facts relating to the mediation process, any statement or declaration made by either party, their respective lawyers and consultants and/or the mediator, as well as the existence of the ongoing mediation, must be kept strictly confidential and cannot be disclosed to any third parties, nor can they be used and/or reported in full or in part in any other present or future judicial or arbitral proceedings, save with the prior consent of all the parties.

The FTM procedure offers a great deal of flexibility, since it can be used either to avoid litigation as well as to quickly settle a dispute, with very limited costs consequences, after court or arbitration proceedings have been issued. This an additional benefit of this ADR remedy, which can efficiently combine considerable time and cost savings with obvious benefits for the parties, whether they be individuals, corporations or other legal entities.