The research consisted of examination of court records in commercial matters that were directed to mediation in the years 2013-2015 in the Regional Court in Warsaw.
The research was conducted in the period from July to the end of September 2015. Analysis of case files in three departments of the Commercial Court in Warsaw was aimed at obtaining a profile of cases directed to mediation in recent years.
The sample covered a total of 520 cases, which represents almost 44% of all cases referred to mediation in all the surveyed departments in the period in question.
Analysis of the records shows that in majority of the cases (53%) at least one party did not agree to participate in mediation.
The vast majority of all cases in the sample was directed to mediation before the first court session.
It was most likely to obtain consents of the parties to participate in mediation in cases concerning construction and investment contracts and subsequently claims regarding service contracts and unfair competition.
The presence of legal counsels seems not to affect significantly the outcome of mediation. Although in cases where only the parties attended mediation meetings, the agreement was concluded somewhat more often. It also seems that the moment of directing to mediation at the stage of judicial proceedings (before the first court session or later) does not affect the likelihood of settlement.
Of all the cases in which we have information about the outcome of mediation:
- settlement was reached in 43% of the cases,
- the lack of a settlement occurred in 56% of the cases,
- in 3 cases the parties reached a settlement out of court, but it was not a formal mediation settlement.
As regards the duration of the mediation, among the cases in which a settlement was concluded, half of them (51%) was completed within 3 months from the date of the issuing of court order. Among the cases in which a settlement was not reached most mediations lasted longer.
The analysis of available court documents also leads to some conclusions of organizational nature. Some of the mediation protocols do not contain all the required information (although it should be added that other reveal too much, violating the principle of confidentiality of mediation). There are also discrepancies in the form of the documents sent to the court (especially in situations where mediation is finally not carried out, some mediators send information while the others send a protocol).