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Dispute resolution

Authority to participate in mediation

Information we need

For a mediation session with the Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) to go ahead, we require details (the name, title/role and email address) of:

  • the people who have full capacity and authority to enter into an agreement and sign terms of settlement in relation to all matters raised on the day (at least one person with authority is required for each party)
  • any other people who will be attending the session (e.g. lawyer, support person, estate agent etc.).

The VSBC will ask parties to provide these details after the mediation date has been agreed to.

What happens if a party doesn’t have authority?

If mediation isn’t attended by people with full authority on both sides, then no agreement will be possible on the day and the parties might need to seek an adjudication of their dispute at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) or by a court.

If the mediation can’t go ahead because a party incorrectly stated they had full authority, the Commissioner can issue a certificate noting that the party refused to mediate. If issued, this certificate can be presented to VCAT, which might make an adverse cost order against that party.

A mediation cancellation fee ($900 for a half-day session, $1350 for a whole day) might be charged if the mediation can’t go ahead because a party attended without full authority.

Further requirements: rent relief and retail leasing disputes

In addition to the above details, there are further requirements for mediations to resolve rent relief and retail lease disputes.

Parties will need to let the VSBC know if any guarantors under the lease will be attending the session and if so, provide their name, title/role and email address.

It’s important that the mediation session is attended by an individual or company named on the lease or by someone the individual or company has given authority to attend mediation on their behalf.

More information

If you have any queries of would like more information, contact the mediation services team at mediationservices@vsbc.vic.gov.au.

 

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