MOSCOW, April 29 (RAPSI) – The Business Ombudsman Boris Titov intends to develop mediation procedures to be used in disputes between entrepreneurs, according to his statement at a round table with representatives of the Mediators Union of the International Association of Russian-Speaking Lawyers (IARL).

Currently, conflicts of businesspersons do not fall in the competence of the Business Ombudsman institution; the Office deals with disputes of businesses with the state structures. Nevertheless, because of the growing number of applications concerning disputes among entrepreneurs, Titov finds it feasible to use mediation procedures to settle such conflicts.

Chair of the IARL Mediators Union lawyer Elena Senina believes that mediation as an alternative dispute settlement mechanism is still not as much appreciated as it should be, and there is small demand for such a procedure, whereas there are over 1,000 professional mediators in Russia ready to consult individuals and organizations.

In his turn, the Business Ombudsman thinks that demand for mediation is to grow in the current situation, where court hearings are seriously restricted because of the pandemic; his Office has no right to interfere in disputes among businesspersons, but it is interested in obtaining reliable partners, who can settle such conflicts, Titiov says, as the Office is to offer entrepreneurs relevant civilized methods for this.

Basing on the results of the conference, it has been decided to appoint the head of the legal examination center of the Business Rights Commissioner Alexey Ryabov as a civic ombudsman for mediation-related issues. A cooperation agreement between the organizations will allow to recommend the businesspersons turning to the Business Ombudsman Office to use mediation procedures on pro bono terms at the first key stage, when the parties are to be brought to the conference table, Ryabov notes.