Practice Group

Mediation & Arbitration

Mediation and Arbitration are two processes for resolving a dispute without going to court. At Pihl Law Corporation, all of our trial lawyers can represent you in an arbitration or a mediation and all of them can advise you on the most effective process for resolving your dispute. David Pihl is a member of Mediate BC – Civil Roster. 

A mediation is an assisted negotiation. The parties, and their lawyers if they are represented, meet with a neutral mediator to negotiate the settlement of a dispute. The mediator cannot impose a settlement or decision, but can help the parties to have productive discussions in the face to face sessions, and can meet separately with the parties to help evaluate their options for resolution. Mediation is confidential and what is said at a mediation cannot be used in court. Mediators who are also lawyers can assist the parties by drafting agreements that reflect the settlement reached.

An arbitration is a hearing, similar to a trial, but the parties have high degree of control over the process. The parties can choose the arbitrator and can choose the rules to use for the arbitration. Arbitration can be faster and more flexible than litigation. They can also be less expensive when the parties collaborate to narrow the issues and disclose the necessary documents and evidence for the hearing. Once an arbitrator is appointed there will usually be a pre-arbitration meeting in which the process is discussed. Hearings take place in a boardroom. Usually the arbitrator’s decision will be final.


Who can be a mediator? There is no provincial licensing authority for mediators as there is for lawyers. MediateBC is a society that administers rosters of mediators who must meet educational and practical requirements to be listed. Visit
David Pihl is a member of the Civil Roster of Mediators.

How much will a mediation cost? The parties have to pay for the mediator and any expenses such as boardroom rental. Mediators’ fees vary from person to person but most charge approximately the same hourly rate as a lawyer. You can expect to pay from $150 to $400 an hour.

Who pays for the mediation? The parties pay. To hire a mediator the parties usually agree (and the mediator will require) to split the cost equally. That can be negotiated as part of the settlement.

Who can be an arbitrator? There is no provincial licensing authority for arbitrators either.

How much does arbitration cost? The parties have to pay the arbitrator’s fees as well as disbursements such as boardroom rental, travel, catering, long distance. Arbitrators usually charge the same rate as lawyers, so you can expect to pay $150 to $400 an hour.

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"Pihl Law Corporation has all the attributes we expect in a law firm and as a strategic business partner – responsiveness, knowledge, experience, professionalism and reliability. We highly recommend the team at Pihl for practical, thorough guidance and legal advice whenever it’s needed."

-John Karpinsky, Karpinsky Brothers Construction

Pihl Law Corporation

300-1465 Ellis Street, Kelowna BC

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