ALGO Legal in collaboration with CAMP Arbitration & Mediation Practice (CAMP) and Foundation for Sustainable Rule of Law Initiatives (FSRI) hosted an informal discussion on Efficient Resolution of Disputes for the Tech Industry Through Mediation at the Algo Legal Offices on Tuesday.

The panel consisted of renowned national and international speakers including Mr. Victor Schachter who is a Mediator and Founder of the Foundation for Sustainable Rule of Law Initiatives, Mr. Neel Chatterjee who is a partner in Goodwin and routinely represents clients like Microsoft, eBay and Amazon in complex technology and IP disputes in mediation, arbitration and court proceedings, Mr. Shirish Gupta who is an award winning Mediator from JAMS (the largest provider of private ADR services in the world) known for his ability to resolve complex financial and technology disputes, Ms. Laila Ollapally who is the founder of CAMP Arbitration & Mediation Practice, and Sandeep Kapoor, Founder and Manging Partner of Algo Legal.

The discussion highlighted the significance of mediation in today’s world of emerging start-ups. As is normally the case, starts-ups are often founded by friends, family, batch-mates, close colleagues and while they work tirelessly to watch their venture succeed, at some point in time, disagreements are bound to occur, and disputes will inevitably arise.

Mediation is increasingly being used by businesses worldwide to pre-empt, prevent and resolve disputes in an efficient and effective manner. “In the United States, 95% of cases are settled through the mediation process…as there is a formal process where judges are encouraged to send cases to mediation before it reaches trial”, said Neel Chatterjee partner at Goodwin’s IP practice who’s mediated numerous cases in silicon valley and who famously defended Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook in the famed Winklevoss case.

As a method of dispute resolution, mediation not only ensures time effective decisions and cost savings but also ensures an outlet for systematic problem solving as opposed to involving other biases or the Courts that focus on the legal rights and wrongs.

Vic Schachter said, “the beauty of the mediation process is you put aside the issue of who is right and wrong and you focus on what are the interests of the parties that we want to resolve to move forward if we can together rather than at each other’s throats”.

The Indian start-up eco system is no stranger to disputes. However the community is still warming up to alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods as a means for remediation. But more can be done. The first is to recognize the benefits in the process and to include ADR as a formal means of dispute resolution. In a country where there are lakhs of cases pending before the Courts, 43.55 lakhs to be exact, and with a booming start-up ecosystem, mediation should be given its due merit.

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