The International Chamber of Commerce Qatar (ICC Qatar) and Crowell & Moring have presented an interactive programme on the growing commitment of Qatar and its institutions to mediation and other Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods as a means of resolving international disputes.

Titled ‘Qatar’s Role in International Mediation & ADR’, the webinar discussed mediation and other ADR options and polled attendees on their awareness and views regarding the current and future use of ADR in Qatar.

Tarek Saad, senior counsel at Crowell & Moring and head of its disputes practice in Doha, led the discussion. Saad also serves as ICC Qatar’s representative to the Paris-based ICC’s Task Force on ADR and Arbitration, which is studying ADR trends all over the world for the development of recommendations for member countries like Qatar.

Saad presented his perspectives on Qatar’s notable leading role in triggering the implementation of the Singapore Convention on Mediation, which was signed by 53 countries.

He then launched a series of polls to the attendees, covering mediation, dispute adjudication boards, expert determination, and current and future use of all forms of ADR. Participants were presented with real-time results after each poll, allowing them to gain immediate insight on the thoughts of others in the business and legal communities.

On mediation, the poll revealed that parties are using Qatar institutions to administer mediations, and have had “overwhelmingly favourable experiences.”

Attendees reported that mediation is an “attractive alternative” to court or arbitration because of its flexible process and greater ability to preserve business relationships even in the context of a dispute. Over half of the poll favoured making mediation mandatory in commercial disputes that involved relatively smaller claimed amounts.

Some participants were less familiar with two ADR methods commonly referred to as dispute adjudication boards and expert determination but expressed their interest in learning more in future programmes.

Saad said, “Today’s interactive programme provided the business and legal community a chance to report their experiences and express their views regarding ways of resolving disputes outside of court or formal arbitration.

Half of those polled felt that current and future use of ADR methods “have been and will continue to increase in Qatar.”

“This serves as valuable feedback and support for the commitment of Qatar and its institutions to provide enhanced packages of dispute resolution services for international disputes. Such initiatives will provide noticeable and significant benefits to Qatar businesses and to Qatar’s economic future as a whole,” the webinar noted.