Frequently asked questions

Here you will find many of the questions we are asked about how Immediation works, why you would use Immediation, what tools you need .... and many others.

What is Online Dispute Resolution (ODR)?

Online dispute resolution is a way for parties to privately resolve their disputes with the help of an unbiased expert using technology instead of going to court. Immediation will offer users the choice of alternative dispute resolution processes provided by an independent neutral.  Our first service will be Mediation provided by independent mediators.  Later we will offer independent neutrals to provide Evaluation, Determination, and Arbitration.

When can I start to use Immediation?

We have appointed the inaugural Immediation Expert Panel, details of which are available at https://www.immediation.com/expert-panel/. Immediation will be live and open to the public in Q3, 2019. If you have a dispute that you need help with before then, please contact us because we will be able to assist with some services on request during the pre-launch phase.

Who can use Immediation?

Anyone – individuals, consumers, in-house legal teams, businesses, companies, institutions and government departments, to name a few. All you need is a computer or a mobile telephone with camera function and access to the internet (note certain browsers are preferred). Our unique video conferencing tool enables you to settle your dispute online without having to leave your home or place of business.

What do I need to use Immediation?

All you need is a computer or a mobile telephone with camera function and access to the internet. Our preferred browser is Google Chrome. This browser provides the best experience within Immediation. We support the latest version of Google Chrome. Normally, Chrome updates automatically when a new version becomes available. If you don’t have the latest version, you can update Chrome yourself.

Other browsers that work with Immediation include the current and the previous release of Firefox®, Safari®, and Microsoft® Edge. Each time a new browser version is released, we begin supporting that version and stop supporting the third most recent version. Internet Explorer 11 and below are not supported.

Why would I use Immediation?

We provide everything in one place that you need to sort out a dispute without having to go to court. The main benefits of using Immediation are:

  • Speed: We can help you solve your dispute in weeks, instead of spending years waiting to go to court
  • Cost: We charge a fee that is proportional to dispute value and is much cheaper than going to court
  • Risk and outcome: We charge proportional costs and offer solutions that are much wider than you can get in court
  • Time saving: Our process is much more efficient and has far less red tape than going to court
  • Impartiality: Our experts are independent and won’t take sides
  • Information efficiency: There is a cap on the amount of information that can be submitted, so that we can get straight to the point
  • More amicable: Our process is quick and efficient, which means much less arguing and can help preserve your important business relationships
  • Transparency: Our fees are certain and payable at commencement. There are no extra costs or hidden surprises
  • Independent experts: We use a panel of highly experienced, leading experts that we have handpicked for their skills in settling disputes.

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How quickly does Immediation work?

We understand how important it is for you to untangle complicated issues and get back to business. Our standard turn-around time is 30 days from the date that all parties have agreed to use Immediation and signed up to the process with the independent expert. It may take a little longer for some more complex services, such as arbitration. Immediation is also flexible, so parties may request more time.

What sorts of disputes can you help sort out?

Pretty much anything commercial, business-related or government related, sometimes called ‘civil’ matters. We don’t deal with criminal matters or family law yet, although our family law offering is coming soon.

Our expertise includes the following areas:

  • Banking and finance laws
  • Common law and professional regulations
  • Corporate and commercial disputes
  • Employment, industrial relations and discrimination issues
  • Government and administrative laws
  • Intellectual property, information technology and media issues
  • Property, construction, environment, oil, gas and mining deals
  • Wills, estates and charities.
What services does Immediation offer?

Immediation will provide expert neutrals to offer a range of different dispute resolution services to suit different needs.  Our initial service will be Mediation provided by an independent mediator.  Following launch, we will expand into providing a panel of experts for:

  • Evaluation
  • Determination
  • Arbitration – domestic or international.
How does an outcome on Immediation take effect?

If you participate in Mediation and agree to settle your dispute through negotiations, the settlement agreement is a legal contract to pay money, which can later be enforced in court as a debt if not honoured.

If you participate in Evaluation, the expert provides an opinion to both parties on how they could try and settle their dispute. What you then do with that opinion is up to you e.g. the parties may then want to use Immediation to hold a mediation and try to settle their dispute through negotiations and agree a settlement agreement. Your legal rights are not affected by participating in Evaluation.

If you participate in Determination, the expert provides a decision on the dispute as a binding contract, which can later be enforced in court as a debt if not honoured. Your rights will be affected by the outcome. If either party is not happy with the outcome of a Determination, either of them have the option to refer the dispute to a panel of three experts appointed by Immediation. The panel will then rehear the dispute and either confirm or change the original decision. The parties have to agree in advance that this option will be available.

If you select Arbitration, the arbitrator provides his or her formal decision to the parties, called an ‘award’, which is legally binding on both sides and enforceable in the courts. Your rights will be affected by the outcome.

The above information is not legal advice but general information about the platform offering.  If you are uncertain about any aspect of the platform offering, please consult a lawyer for legal advice.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is an informal way of trying to solve a problem. At a mediation, the people involved in a dispute come together with the help of an independent expert person called a ‘mediator’ to try and settle their dispute through negotiations and agree a settlement agreement. The people involved retain control over the outcome.

What is Evaluation?

Evaluation is a non-binding process where people involved in a dispute present their arguments and evidence to a neutral lawyer who is an expert in the subject matter of your dispute. The evaluator then provides his or her legal advice to both parties on how they could try and settle their dispute. What they then do with that advice is up to them e.g. the parties may then want to use Immediation to hold a Mediation with an independent neutral and try to settle their dispute through negotiations and agree a settlement agreement.

What is Determination?

Determination is a binding process where people involved in a dispute present their arguments and evidence to a neutral lawyer who is an expert in the subject matter of your dispute.

What is a Review Panel?

Once our Determination service becomes live, if either party is not happy with the outcome of a Determination, either of them have the option to refer the dispute to a panel of three experts. The panel will then rehear the dispute and either confirm or change the original legal decision. The parties have to agree in advance that this option will be available.

What is Arbitration?

Arbitration is a formal binding process used to settle a dispute. At an arbitration, the people involved in a dispute present their arguments and evidence to an independent expert person called an ‘arbitrator’. The arbitrator then provides his or her formal decision to the parties, called an ‘award’, which is legally binding on both sides and enforceable in the courts.

How do I know which service to choose?

If you’re not sure based on the information on our website and on the platform, Immediation is here to help you choose the most appropriate service for your situation.

What is the difference between mediation, determination and arbitration?

The type of service that you choose depends on the level of control that you would like over the outcome. Mediation is a negotiated settlement, therefore the parties retain control as they do not have to agree to an outcome that they do not like. Determination is a new form of expert determination, where a specialist legal expert decides on what the outcome should be, based on the information before him or her, and decides which party owes which party money, and how much. It allows for answers that are not black and white, but might allocate the outcome based on commercial and legal risk. For example, if the expert decides that it there is an 80% chance that the claimant would win in court, the respondent might pay the claimant 80% of the claim. The expert can use his or her own knowledge and ask questions and is not dependent on the arguments or information put forward by the parties. Arbitration is a formal process using judicial reasoning, where the parties present their cases and the arbitrator decides the legal outcome. The arbitrator produces an award which is enforceable in court. It is more appropriate for complex cases, cases requiring enforcement internationally, or where the parties do not wish to take the commercial risk allocation approach referred to in determination.

How do I know what process Immediation is going to follow?

Before you sign up to a particular service, the ‘rules’ that the independent expert must follow for that type of service are provided to you in advance and you will also enter into an agreement about that with the person you are disputing with. We will also provide an easy to understand guide for Immediation’s Rules, so there are no nasty surprises.

What if I think the person I’m disputing with is just going to lie?

Immediation is a consent-based model and it works best where there is some mutual commitment to resolve the dispute together. If there is no document to back up your view-point and you are convinced the other person will lie in a ‘he-said’ ‘she-said’ type scenario, then you would be best to choose the mediation service, where you will have control over the outcome.

How safe is my information once I share it with Immediation?

All information is encrypted on Immediation’s servers located in Australia. Routine audits are performed to protect against new security vulnerabilities.

How do I make a claim on Immediation?

You answer straightforward questions online to tell us about your claim and upload your information (or ‘evidence’) . The other side (called the ‘respondent’) then receives an invite from us to try to settle the dispute using Immediation’s expert neutral panel.

Can I make a claim that is not a financial claim e.g. what if I want something other than money?

Yes. Please call us on 1300 019 993 or email us at support@immediation.com and we will help you figure out the starting point.

What happens if a claim is made against me?

If you receive an invite from us to try to settle a dispute using Immediation, you are asked to answer straightforward questions online to explain your side of the dispute and upload your evidence to support your response.

What happens if a claim is made against me, but I want to make a claim too?

You can make a ‘counter-claim’ by answering straightforward questions online to tell the other party why you say you have a claim too, then upload your information (or ‘evidence’). The other side is then informed about your counter-claim and invited to respond.

Once a claim has been registered on Immediation, what happens next?

A qualified independent expert from our panel works with the parties to obtain a resolution quickly and efficiently without expensive legal costs being incurred. There are different services to choose from, depending on whether you want control over the outcome or you just want an independent expert to sort it out and tell you the outcome.  The first service Immediation will offer will be Mediation with an independent mediator from our panel.

Can I do this myself?

Absolutely! There is no need for you to leave your home or office – everything is done online!

Will I need a lawyer?

That’s completely up to you! Immediation has been designed so that you don’t need to have your own lawyer arguing your case for you. However, if you still want that you have your own lawyer involved in the Immediation process, you are free to do so.

Can my lawyer make a claim on my behalf?

Yes. Your lawyer can make a claim on your behalf by registering an account on Immediation using his or her own contact details and then lodging a claim on behalf of you/your company.

Will witnesses be involved?

That’s completely up to you! Immediation has been designed so that you can invite witnesses and guests to take part in the online dispute resolution process.

Who are the ‘independent experts’?

We have appointed our inaugural panel of expert solicitors, barristers, retired judges, arbitrators and mediators who are all highly experienced in helping parties settle disputes.  Details of the panel are available at https://www.immediation.com/expert-panel/.  You can rest assured that we have undertaken rigorous verification checks and quality control measures leading to the appointment of all Immediation panel neutrals.

We will work with the parties to choose an appropriate expert to help you, depending on the nature of the dispute.

What is the cost?

The cost will be proportionate to the value of the claim. We will be releasing a schedule of fees at launch.  If you make a mistake, we reserve the right to increase your fee in accordance with our fee schedule published at www.immediation.com.

The fee depends on the complexity of the service, but is always value for money compared to the size of your claim. If you don’t know what the size of your claim is a flat fee will be payable.

Please call us on 1300 019 993 or email us at support@immediation.com if you need any help.

Can I get a refund?

Immediation will check and confirm your dispute for appropriateness before proceeding. If your dispute is not appropriate for Immediation, you will not be charged. You will not be charged if the person you are disputing with does not wish to proceed to use Immediation.

Once both parties sign up, a refund will only be available in the unlikely event the service is not provided by Immediation. We have a panel of independent experts, so there should be no reason why your service is not provided.

Can I do this in person?

Immediation is an online dispute resolution system. All interactions are through our platform, although on occasion an independent expert might contact you by phone or email.

What happens if I am successful, but the other side doesn’t pay?

We will help you find an expert lawyer, at a discounted price, so you can enforce your contract, settlement agreement or award in court. You won’t need to re-argue the facts of your case because the contract proves that the other party owes you money but hasn’t paid.

How does the cost relate to other options?

We are very confident that the cost of using Immediation is much lower than ‘lawyering up’ and going off to court. In that case, the true cost to you will not be known for months or even years. Also, we are very well priced compared to other dispute resolution institutions.

Are there any hidden or other costs?

No. The Immediation fee is a fixed that is linked to the value of the claim and it covers all the costs of using the platform and the independent expert’s fee.

There is only one possible extra cost that might be payable, and that is if we think we need a scientific or technical expert. If Immediation thinks that is important or necessary for the resolution of your dispute, Immediation will find out the cost and tell you upfront before you agree to proceed. The benefit of using Immediation is that we will use only one scientific or expert, instead of one for each party.

Does the cost include GST?

10% GST is payable on top of the Immediation fee.

When do I pay?

The fee (which comprises a fee payable to Immediation for use of our platform and a fee payable to our expert neutral) is paid once the claim is registered with Immediation, the other party to the dispute has agreed to try to settle the dispute with you using Immediation and you have entered into an agreement with your expert neutral. You will not be charged until then. You may share the fee with the other party to the dispute, depending on the circumstances.

Can I claim back the Immediation fee from the other party?

Yes, you can ask for that as part of the settlement outcome.

If I win, when do I get paid?

The terms and conditions of your settlement agreement, contract or award made during the Immediation process will spell out when and how you are to get paid.

Why would I use Immediation instead of hiring a lawyer and going to court?

Immediation provides a highly efficient and impartial method of resolving different types of disputes with the assistance of an expert in a cost efficient and streamlined manner. Instead of going to court, Immediation is a non-aggressive process that is focused on resolving disputes, avoiding escalation and helping to maintain your important business relationships.

Why would I use Immediation instead of hiring an independent expert myself?

There is no other service like Immediation. Our unique online platform, video conferencing tool and panel of independent hand-picked experts is second to none! You don’t have to leave your home or place of business to resolve your dispute. Immediation has been designed by group of lawyers with more than 150 combined years of legal industry experience, taking many issues from their experience into account. It’s not the same as hiring a one-off independent expert, because the Immediation platform facilitates the entire process making it easy for you.

What happens if the other party doesn’t want to use Immediation?

You will not be charged the Immediation fee for the resolution of the dispute online.

What happens if my dispute is settled at Mediation, but the other side then doesn’t pay me?

We will help you find an expert lawyer, at a discounted price, so you can enforce your settlement agreement in court as a due debt. You won’t need to re-argue the facts of your case because the settlement deed proves that the other party owes you money but hasn’t paid.

What happens if I receive a Determination, but the other side doesn’t pay me?

We will help you find an expert lawyer, at a discounted price, so you can enforce your settlement agreement in court as a due debt. You won’t need to re-argue the facts of your case because the settlement deed proves that the other party owes you money but hasn’t paid.

What happens if I receive a decision of a Review Panel, but the other side doesn’t pay me?

We will help you find an expert lawyer, at a discounted price, so you can enforce your settlement agreement in court as a due debt. You won’t need to re-argue the facts of your case because the settlement deed proves that the other party owes you money but hasn’t paid.

What happens if an Arbitration is held, but the other side doesn’t pay me?

We will help you find an expert lawyer, at a discounted price, so you can enforce your award in court. You won’t need to re-argue the facts of your case because the award is legally binding.

Can you deal with international issues?

Yes, we can. It’s best to choose the international arbitration option for international disputes.

What if my matter includes scientific or technical issues?

We will do our best to use a legal expert that knows about the area so that this is not a problem. However, if Immediation thinks that a scientific or technical expert is needed to give an opinion, we will find one. Immediation will find out the cost and tell you upfront before you agree to proceed. The benefit of using Immediation is that we will use only one scientific or expert, instead of one for each party going into battle.

Isn’t it safer to go to court?

Courts and tribunals are a safe way to resolve a dispute, as there are appeal rights and due legal process in most cases. Courts are tried and true and are beneficial in testing every part of the facts, evidence and law. They are also expensive and time-consuming because courts are overloaded. It that it can take such a long time to get an outcome and be so expensive that it is not a good solution for every case. Immediation is a new way to resolve disputes. With Immediation, we focus on the key points and avoid legal jargon, meaning that you get to the outcome faster.

What kinds of cases are suitable for Immediation?

Immediation is best suited to cases which are based on documents. If your claim involves testimony from witnesses, you can invite them to participate in the on-line hearing.

Immediation is also best suited, where possible, to cases where there is one party claiming against one other party. If you have a multi-party case, please contact Immediation to discuss it before registering a dispute.

My contract specifies a different type of alternative dispute resolution. Can I still use Immediation to resolve the dispute?

Yes, you can. Just log on and commence a claim and we’ll help you work that bit out.

I want to use a lawyer to assist with Immediation. Can I claim my legal fees?

Yes, you are welcome to do so. All we ask is that you include a fixed amount as part of your claim, so you may wish to ask your lawyer to provide you with a cost estimate up front for any help you need with Immediation. We don’t want to be left in the situation that arises in courts and tribunals where you have mini legal case about the legal fees!

Can I appeal?

There is no appeal right from Immediation. But in the case of determination, where a binding outcome is generated, both parties can agree beforehand to have a review panel of three experts look at the dispute if either party is not satisfied with the outcome. In the case of arbitration, the court would have its ordinary jurisdiction regarding arbitral awards. In the case of mediation, evaluation or advice, appeal would not be relevant.