28 May 2015
Florence Daily News
FLORENCE, ITALY – Today marks the birth of the Florence International Mediation Chamber (FIMC), a high-quality international mediation service for citizens and companies run by the Florence Chamber of Commerce. Now, with this new service, the city which regularly employed mediators to resolve controversies as far back as the time of the Guilds in the Middle Ages, puts itself forward as a new benchmark, not only within Italy, for the settlement of international commercial disputes.
The service has a unique feature: the mediation room is in a unique location overlooking one of the most picturesque corners of Florence opposte to Palazzo Vecchio, the town city hall.
The presence of expert mediators specifically certified to manage multicultural relations, the international prestige of the headquarters and the third-party status of a public body such as the Chamber of Commerce come together to make the FIMC unique in Italy and Europe, immediately taking its place among the international mediation bodies. The FIMC already has at its disposal a panel of 30 mediators from all over the world: from India to the United States and from New Zealand to Nigeria.
Alternative dispute resolution, known as ADR, includes dispute resolution processes and techniques that act as a means for disagreeing parties to come to an agreement short of litigation. It is a collective term for the ways that parties can settle disputes, with the help of a third party.
The president of the Florence Chamber of Commerce, Leonardo Bassilichi, has signed two memoranda of understanding with the delegates of leading global mediation institutions: Bennet Picker, member of the AAA (American Arbitration Association) in New York, signing on behalf of the ICDR (International Center for Dispute Resolution), and Michael Leathes, a founding member of the International Mediation Institute and of the Working Party whose Report laid the foundation for the setting up of the SIMC (Singapore International Mediation Centre).
The creation of the FIMC will make it possible to foster the culture of international mediation, and at the same time support enterprises that have economic relations with various countries,” explained Leonardo Bassilichi. “Signing two agreements with the delegates of mediation institutions of such specific importance is a crucial step along this path.”
“One of the main values of international mediation is to permit the resolution of disputes between parties with different points of view, experience and cultural background. It is a source of great satisfaction for us that Florence is joining the partners of AAA-ICDR to spread the culture of mediation throughout the world,” added Bennet Picker.
“As businesses search for practical and cost-effective solutions to their legal disputes, mediation has grown in popularity and prominence all over the world. SIMC is delighted to work together with Florence to support cross-border business activity as well as to share ideas and experiences in developing a professional mediation service distinguished by the quality of certified international mediators and by a competitive and transparent fee structure,” stressed Michael Leathes.
To present all the possibilities offered by international mediation to professionals and companies, the Florence Chamber of Commerce has organised the conference “Succeeding through Mediation”, to be held in Palazzo Vecchio on Friday 29 May 2015 from 9.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m.
The event, sponsored by the Florence City Council, has been organised in liaison with IMI (the International Mediation Institute), an international non-profit organisation that brings together big companies and law firms all over the world which are among the major users of mediation services, on the strength of which it has developed a recognised system of high quality standards, which are adhered to by all the mediators working for the FIMC.
“The FIMC is, after SIMC in Singapore, the second institution in the world that has been created entirely with a view toward international mediation based on globally-accepted principles of competency and transparency. As with SIMC, all international mediators who are affiliated with the FIMC hold certifications of the International Mediation Institute of their high level of achievement as mediators, and feedback from parties who have used them is publicly available,” concluded Irena Vanenkova, Executive Director International Mediation Institute (IMI).
The program of the conference can be downloaded from the website of the Florence Chamber of Commerce. Simultaneous translation will be available during the event.