DO mediation!

DO mediation!

„Mediation should be mainstream in complex cases!“

Mediation of complex cases is the focus of Dirk Oldenburg, an attorney at law with 30+ years of experience in private practice as partner of an international law firm (Puender / today Clifford Chance) as well as General Counsel and Management Board Member of Global Pharma Company Sanofi-Aventis. Areas of practice include:
- Commercial/contractual matters between corporations
- Major liability cases
- Partnership disputes
- Controversies within family owned businesses
- Major inheritance cases
Mediator / Attorney-at-Law

Dr. jur. Dirk Oldenburg

<strong>„Mediation should be mainstream in complex cases!“</strong>

Why mediation?

Disputes or controversies are inevitable in business and other areas of human interaction. Often negotiations fail due to emotions or assumptions getting in the way and parties don't understand each other's underlying thinking and interests.
Litigation or arbitration are very time-consuming and incredibly expensive, with costs for lawyers, experts, courts, and arbitrational panels, as well as internal costs, management time, and the potential for distraction for years.
In addition to these financial costs, uncertainty can harm the business relationship and the business as a whole and its financial credit-worthiness.
In any dispute or controversy - even during ongoing litigation - the parties SHOULD consider mediation as the viable path for resolving disputes. Mediation provides a timely and cost-effective opportunity to reach a mutually beneficial resolution.
DO mediation! There is nothing to lose and much to gain.

What makes a good mediator? Why Dirk Oldenburg?

A good mediator for complex cases needs to possess the following qualities, among others:

Patience & People-Skills
Business & Management Experience
Legal Mind & Litigation Experience
Solution-Orientation & Creativity

Dirk Oldenburg possesses the character and personality of integrity, which makes him the right person to lead the parties through the necessary phases of the mediation process with patience and empathy towards achieving an amicable resolution. His career path highlights his extensive experience and skills that are essential for the task at hand. Moreover, his detailed approach to preparing, organizing, and steering a mediation case is clearly elucidated in the below extract of his article in LawyerIssue (link to the full article can be found below), demonstrating his specific and methodical expertise in the field:

“ … the mediation process can be broken down into the following rough phases:

          • Preparing for the mediation, including setting down rules of procedure, logistics, etc.
          • “Opening” the mediation hearing, with an introduction to the basic principles and features of the mediation procedure, the facts of the matter, and the status of the dispute; under some circumstances, an informal meeting may be held ahead of time.
          • Jointly working out all subjects in dispute from a factual and legal standpoint and otherwise.
          • Jointly working out and identifying the actual underlying interests and needs of the parties to the conflict and their relative importance and significance to the respective parties.
          • Jointly working out, in creative form, all theoretically conceivable approaches that might be taken to achieve a resolution, initially without evaluating or assessing them at the same time.
          • Jointly working out all theoretically conceivable scenarios in which an amicable resolution is not reached, initially without evaluating or assessing them.
          • Evaluating and comparing all of the identified scenarios in which an amicable resolution is not reached on the one hand and all possible approaches for reaching an amicable resolution on the other.
          • Working toward realistic models of achieving an amicable resolution.

II. The “who, where, how” of a mediation hearing

          • Mediation’s eventual success or failure is determined to a large extent early on, during the planning and conceptualization of the mediation procedure.
          • Who is the most important point for the mediation procedure—that is, determining the size and composition of the parties’ representation. What are the crucial criteria when it comes to the question of who should participate as the parties’ representatives?
          • Under no circumstances should there be too many people involved. The most reasonable number is between one and five per side. The delegations should be at least roughly the same size.
          • There must be sufficient knowledge of the matter represented on all sides in the delegation, or this knowledge must be available to the delegation on short notice.
          • There must be persons with adequate decision-making authority at the table. The level of the hierarchy above the one where the case is being handled and, if at all possible, decision makers from outside the legal department should also be represented. The main decision makers should be able to view each other as equals in terms of the corporate hierarchy, so they can talk to each other as equals as well.

Only if these conditions are met does the mediation have optimum prospects of success. A certain amount of distance from the matter itself and not having had too much prior involvement greatly enhance the parties’ objectivity in assessing their own prospects and risks. On the other hand, it is also necessary to ensure that the representatives are familiar with all matters and aspects that are favorable to their party and can bring them into the proceedings so that they do not agree to a solution that unreasonably disadvantages their party for lack of awareness of these points.

It should be pointed out that decision makers from outside legal departments often display a more pragmatic, more realistic view, basing their assessment on whether a potential approach to achieve a solution seems appropriate and reasonable on the whole rather than following a particular—and chiefly legal—analysis…

The mediator also needs to take great care with the aspects of where and how early on, reviewing where, in what physical setting, and on what schedule the mediation is to take place. Depending on the nature and subject matter of the dispute, a wide range of different concepts may be appropriate and promising in this regard. These outward circumstances must be appropriate to the complexity of the matter, the economic or other importance of the case, and the persons involved. Only if the critical persons on all sides view these conditions as being appropriate and comfortable is it possible to create a discussion atmosphere that permits and even fosters the building of trust between the relevant decision makers in a relatively short time—and without that, the prospects of successful mediation are poor.“

Education, Skills & Experience

1975-1977  Apprenticeship Accounting/Auditing
1975-1985  Law Studies & PhD
1985-1998  Associate/Equity Partner Pünder pp, Frankfurt (today Clifford Chance)
1998-2005  General Counsel/Management Board Sanofi-Aventis (Hoechst)

Through his professional education and experience in private practice as well as within the corporate sector, Dirk Oldenburg has extensive experience as a lawyer but also as senior executive in the corporate sector. During his 30+ years of professional experience he has been involved in a wide variety of different matters including:

- Global M&A Transactions & Joint Ventures
- High-Profile-Litigation in US and EU
- Management Board experience in EURO-STOXX-50 company
- Variety of strategic, operational, financial or HR-related management matters

As part of Senior Management and a member of the Management Board, Dirk Oldenburg has been involved in many different complex strategic and operational projects with international complexity such as:

- Integration of global corporations of different corporate and national cultures
- Management of international Legal/Patent Teams (500 +)
- Development of worldwide compliance organisation as Global Chief Compliance Officer
- Member of Management Board of top 5 global pharmaceutical company/EURO-STOXX-50


An Article by Dirk Oldenburg, published in LawyerIssue
WordPress Cookie Hinweis von Real Cookie Banner