HomeFWJ TakeawayInternational arbitrationArbitration explainedHow is Arbitration different from mediation?

Both arbitration and mediation are forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). Our brilliant Dispute Resolution team at FWJ can help advise you on the key differences and what is best for you. Call us today.

The material difference between Arbitration and Mediation is that Arbitration is binding on the parties with a decision made by the arbitrator, and mediation is usually just a voluntary process, and no decision is made by the mediator presiding over the dispute.

Essentially, this means that there is an outcome at an arbitration, as the parties agree to arbitrate in lieu of litigation.

  • a decision has to be made – and is made by the arbitrator if the parties cannot come to an agreement.
  • so in many ways it is similar to “traditional” court proceedings where there will be an award at the end with an outcome.

In mediation however, as the process is not binding, ie any party can at any time walk away, and no decision is made, leaving any underlying dispute unresolved.

Arbitrations are more formal, and can last for many weeks in certain complex cases. By contrast, mediation is usually much more informal, and will last usually no longer than a day in most instances. 

Both are equally valid methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution, and it is increasingly common to see provisions for mediation to take place in a dispute prior to arbitration or litigation being utilised. This is an added layer of possible cost and time saving for the parties.  


Whatever your Arbitration enquiry – our team has the expertise to help you. FWJ are experienced in helping clients domestically and internationally resolve their disputes through the use of Arbitration or other types of Dispute Resolution mechanism. No matter what your issues – call our team of experts today and we can help.

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