In a recent commercial case - Upplan Company Limited v Li Ho Ming - the Court laid down a set of guidelines on the relevant factors to be taken into consideration, in the following priority:
- The nature of the matter and the issues for mediation.
- The amount involved and the importance of the matter to the parties.
- The mediators’ knowledge and experience in respect of the issues in order to determine whether the mediator is the appropriate person to deal with the issues.
- The experience of the mediator in mediation.
- Other relevant experience such as legal practice, arbitration or social experience.
- Fees and expenses for the mediation.
- The availability of mediators, keeping in mind that mediation will take place near the trial.
- Other relevant factors.
In future, parties will be expected to have considered all the above issues before making an application to the court. Any unreasonable conduct will be sanctioned by the appropriate costs order.