Why Technological Mediation is Becoming Increasingly Expensive
Dakota Murphey

Tech is a huge part of everyone’s lives. While it is true that some people lead relatively tech-free existences, the vast majority of us rely on computers, smartphones, television, banking apps, and a huge range of other technological innovations as a part of our normal day-to-day lives.

Unsurprisingly then, technology is big business for every sector. Ultimately, this means that there is always a lot of money wrapped up in technological innovations. Wherever there is money, there is bound to be plenty of people interested in getting their fair share of it. This can result in separate parties believing that they have a claim on a certain technological innovation. To get to the bottom of the issue many legal companies and individuals make use of technological mediation.

When we talk about technological mediation, we refer to resolving any kind of dispute relating to technology or technological companies. This might mean anything from contract disputes, issues with the franchise agreement, intellectual property disputes, or the delivery of defective goods.

Mediation is expensive!

It has become apparent that in recent years, the cost of technological mediation has grown rapidly. Whether businesses are facing an internal dispute around the specific wording of a contract, or if there is an argument between separate companies on breach of contract, the costs of coming to terms on the issues can be very high.

All the way back in 2013, there were already concerns about the high cost and length of technological dispute resolution proceedings. Almost ten years later, we have seen those costs spiral and potentially become unaffordable for some.

So why exactly has technological mediation become so expensive and what can be done to minimise the issue and help businesses with their disputes?

Refusing to mediate is even more expensive

It should, of course, be pointed out that the cost of avoiding mediation is likely to be far higher than paying for it. Dispute resolution might take a lot of time and may be very costly, but the result is often an agreement that allows both sides to make money in a way that is deemed fair.

Refusing to mediate might result in a lawsuit or legal action that could go on for years, and ultimately cost everyone involved a significant amount of money. Some firms and practices are even plugging to introduce compulsory mediation in disputes to negate the costly and time-consuming battle that might ensue without it.

Technological mediation has never been more complex

Obviously part of the reason that mediation has become more expensive is that the actual work is more complex than ever before. Disputes can take on a truly enormous range of different shapes. If mediators have to put in a lot of time to understand the dispute and all of the parameters, this takes a significant amount of time.

This ultimately means that when you carry out technological mediation, you have to be prepared for this to take its time. And the longer that mediators are forced to go over different details or come to terms on tricky negotiations, the more that they can charge to their clients.

This is something that mediators and businesses need to prepare for, as it is only a problem that is going to get worse.

An increasing interest in tech disruptors

Recent years have brought an enormous interest in disruptors across the different areas of tech. This has been especially apparent in FinTech, with the rise in both neo and challenger banks. Traditional banks have come under increasing pressure from such digital upstart banks like Starling, Monzo, Atom, and Metro Bank.

These disruptors can be excellent for consumers as they add choice and possibility to the marketplace. However, in terms of complexity, they can make things more difficult to manage, and mediators have to get to grips with new technologies.

Staffing issues

One issue that is becoming increasingly prevalent in technological disputes is issues around contracts and dispute resolution. There are many different issues that can affect a business in this regard. Whether it is workers potentially having access to company secrets and what is considered to have been an infringement on company data.

It can be important from a business standpoint to ensure that contracts and agreements are vetted by professionals who understand and are sensitive to the potential problem of disputes arising. It could even be beneficial to hire by working with specific tech contractors, as these types of agencies can provide support and ensure that hired contractors understand the parameters of their contracts.

Alternatively, the issue could revolve around the complexities of a project undertaken by a member of staff outside of work but under contract with an employer. There can be massive problems relating to intellectual property and how this is defined.

There is big money in tech

Perhaps it is no surprise that the driving force behind the expense of technological mediation is the financial gain or loss at the other end. We have already mentioned the huge interest in new technological developments - and this interest often translates to a significant amount of money.

The money that is at stake will naturally make those with a vested interest more willing to spend money in order to get the ‘reward’ in the end. This has led to the cost of mediation rising, as individuals are more willing to make it work.

However, just like pushing for a paperless future, law firms want to take up future tech innovations at all costs. It is perhaps time for the legal sector to switch to an up-to-date approach and embrace the benefits of the modern duo; mediation with technology.

Technological mediation plays a vital role in ensuring that innovators are compensated fairly for the work that they do. As tech becomes more ingrained in business and society, it will only become more important to provide incentives for individuals to put in hard work on tech projects. As such, we should expect that mediation will become more expensive, and see it as a sign of progress.