About the process

The VSBC’s dispute resolution process centres on four key services, delivered by our experienced staff:

  • Information: If you are not sure about your rights or obligations, or need help or guidance on a dispute, we can provide you with assistance and information on the avenues available to resolve the problem.
  • Preliminary assistance: We can assist the parties over the telephone or by email to work out a solution to the issue.
  • Mediation: We bring the parties together with an experienced mediator to confidentially discuss their issues with the aim of reaching a resolution acceptable to both parties. Note that in some cases a facilitated meeting may be deemed a more appropriate form of alternative dispute resolution.
  • Outcomes: Working to solve your dispute with us helps promote an ongoing business relationship – meaning you can get on with the job of running your business. Occasionally, the VSBC may determine that another form of Alternative Dispute Resolution, for example, a facilitated meeting, is the best way of progressing the matter.

What types of disputes can the VSBC help with?

The VSBC is your first port of call for all types of commercial disputes between businesses, or between business and government. The size of the dispute may range from hundreds of dollars to millions of dollars.

The VSBC can help you with a dispute in the following five areas:

Resolving disputes with the VSBC

The following is a step-by-step process to guide you through the typical dispute resolution process with the VSBC.

Note: It is a general guide and the sequence of events may differ depending on your individual situation.

If you have any specific questions, refer to Frequently asked questions and Who we help.


Submitting an application

Before you submit an application to the VSBC, we encourage you to try to resolve the dispute directly with the other party. Read these steps to take before making an application for assistance.

If you’re unable to resolve the dispute directly with the other party, complete a form about the dispute. You can email, post or fax the form to the VSBC, along with any relevant documents, such as a copy of the lease, expert reports, correspondence and photographs.



Handling the dispute

Upon receiving the application, the VSBC appoints a Dispute Resolution Officer (DRO) to handle the dispute.


Handling the dispute

The DRO forwards the application form to the other party and seeks a response.


Preliminary assistance

The DRO may attempt to resolve the dispute by phone, email or in person and work through issues with the parties.


Invitation to mediation

If preliminary assistance is not an option, or is unsuccessful, the DRO may invite the parties to attend mediation. (If you decline to attend, the VSBC may issue a certificate, but it depends on the type of dispute. See Frequently Asked Questions for more on this.)

Note that in some cases a facilitated meeting may be deemed a more appropriate form of alternative dispute resolution.


Setting up a time

If both parties agree to mediation, the DRO will arrange a date, time and location to suit both parties and their representatives, and a mediator will be appointed.


Confirmation of details

VSBC confirms mediation details with all parties. Confirmation slips and authority to act for an absent party (if required) are sent by the VSBC for completion and return.


On the day…

On the day of mediation, the mediator:

  • confirms that the parties can make a decision;
  • receives mediation fees;
  • signs the Mediation Agreement.


Mediation is conducted. See the VSBC’s mediation process.


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