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Tijdschrift Nederlands-Vlaams tijdschrift voor mediation en conflictmanagement x Jaar 2019 x
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Access_open Some thoughts about success fees for mediators

Variations on the theme: ‘The better it helps, the better it pays’ instead of ‘The longer it takes, the better it pays’.

Tijdschrift Nederlands-Vlaams tijdschrift voor mediation en conflictmanagement, Aflevering 4 2019
Trefwoorden success fees, contingency fees, remuneration system, rules of ethics
Auteurs Patrick Van Leynseele
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Traditionally, it has been taught, or prohibited, for mediators to charge ‘success fees’ or ‘contingency fees’ as remuneration for the work they do. This article argues that such overall prohibition lacks nuances. Mediation rules and rules of ethics for mediators should not prevent the parties and the mediators from agreeing on some sort of higher remuneration in case of successful outcome of the mediation. There are limits. In particular, making the mediator’s remuneration a percentage of the settlement amount should remain prohibited.
    However, if the mediator’s interests are aligned with those of the parties, which shall frequently be the case, there should be no blank prohibition for the mediator to charge higher fees in case of successful outcome of the mediation process.
    There is a need for the mediator to be fully transparent about the system he proposes, which includes explaining to the parties and securing their understanding of the pros and cons of the remuneration system he suggests.


Patrick Van Leynseele
Patrick Van Leynseele is attorney (Brussels and New York Bars), arbitrator, mediator and editor of this journal.
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