Dorset and Somerset solicitors firm Humphries Kirk has launched an International House of Mediation service (EWIV) with an expert network of dispute lawyers in 10 member countries.

From today, businesses can benefit from the service which is designed to ease the legal process surrounding commercial disputes for two parties based in different countries.

The mediation service forms part of the Humphries Kirk International Network (HKI), which is a working association of legal and business advisers working to benefit clients within international business.

At present, when disputes arise between firms in different countries, the practices, legal systems and solutions available are completely different.

James Selby Bennett, a senior commercial partner at Humphries Kirk and member of the HKI network, said: “Mediation is a way of enabling parties that have disputes with each other to settle differences by finding appropriate solutions. Mediation in England is an already heavily saturated market, however, globally it is a relatively undeveloped skill.

“We believe that where there is an international dispute, clients should have access to a team of mediators and legal experts from the countries concerned, so that every single possible solution can be explored.

“The essence of mediation is not to have any kind of mini trial or arbitration, but rather to enable the parties to find their own solutions to their dispute. Sometimes this means settling a dispute halfway, but very often it means finding a completely novel way of settling a dispute which the parties may not have thought of themselves.”

The International House of Mediation EWIV is based in Hannover, Germany and the HKI Network has members in Paris, Hannover, Cologne, Milan, Prague, Madrid, Malaga, Malta and Dublin and correspondents in New York, Toronto, Washington, Helsinki, Shanghai, Moscow and Tokyo.

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