Disputes between companies or between other disputing entities or persons can be resolved amicably by way of conciliation. The aim of conciliation is to bring about a settlement agreement by means of a compromise proposal made by a neutral conciliator. In conciliation proceedings, a conciliator facilitates negotiations between disputing parties. In contrast to an arbitrator or a judge, a conciliator has no decision-making authority. However, unlike a mediator, a conciliator can actively propose solutions on which the parties may agree.

One of the basic principles of the DIS Conciliation Rules is that the success of the conciliation proceedings depends on the willingness of all involved parties to reach an amicable settlement. Accordingly, each party has the possibility to terminate the proceedings at any time without having to provide justification for the termination.

The willingness of the parties to reach a consensus is paramount. This applies particularly to the design of conciliation proceedings: the DIS Conciliation Rules provide solely the framework for conducting such proceedings.

Parties can agree on conciliation as a method of dispute resolution by including a conciliation clause in their contract.

Parties can also agree on conciliation proceedings after a dispute has already arisen.

Advantages of Conciliation

Conciliation offers many advantages:

  • A confidential, fast, flexible and cost-efficient dispute resolution method for parties wishing to settle their disputes amicably.
  • Conciliation proceedings provide parties with a framework within which they are free to determine the conduct of the proceedings.
  • Conciliation enables parties to resolve their disputes without irreparably damaging their business relationships. The parties usually continue to cooperate after a successful conciliation.
  • Similar to mediation proceedings, reaching an amicable settlement lies in the hands of the parties. However, in contrast to a mediator, a conciliator can propose solutions to the parties on which the parties may agree.
  • If the parties fail to reach an agreement, they still have the option to resort to arbitration or state court proceedings.

DIS Conciliation Proceedings

Conciliation proceedings, in accordance with the DIS Conciliation Rules, are initiated by sending a written request to the opposing party.

The conciliation proceedings begin when the opposing party informs the DIS Main Secretariat of its willingness to participate in the proceedings and the applicant pays the DIS registration fee. If the opposing party rejects the applicant’s request, does not reply in due time or if the DIS registration fee is not paid, the conciliation proceedings do not take place.

The parties may jointly choose and appoint a sole conciliator, or any number of conciliators the parties have agreed. In proceedings involving three conciliators, each party appoints one conciliator and the two party-appointed conciliators appoint the third conciliator. If the parties fail to appoint a conciliator within one month, each party may request the appointment of conciliator by the DIS Main Secretariat. The DIS may propose names of potential conciliators to any party upon request.

The conciliator, in consultation with the parties, determines the details of the proceedings. The conciliator supports the parties in an impartial and independent manner to resolve the dispute amicably. If the parties so wish, at any stage of the proceedings the conciliators may make proposals for the settlement of the dispute. The proposals made by the conciliator do not need to be reasoned. If the parties reach an agreement during conciliation proceedings, the conciliator records the result in writing.

Conciliation proceedings are terminated when the parties have settled their dispute or when the parties are unable to reach agreement. Either party may declare the conciliation proceedings terminated at any stage without having to provide justification for the termination.

Costs of Conciliation Proceedings

The costs of conciliation are calculated based on the Schedule of Costs in the DIS Conciliation Rules.

The DIS registration fee is €250. The fee for nomination of a conciliator by the DIS is also €250. The fee of a conciliator is between €200 and €400 per hour. The fees are subject to the applicable VAT.

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