Mediate First Campaign
Monday | 20 Sept 2021
The Malaysian Bar is proud to announce the launch of a nationwide COVID-19 Mediate First Campaign — in line with the objective of Pusat Mediasi COVID-19 (“PMC-19”) to provide an alternative dispute resolution platform for members of the public, Small and Medium Enterprises (“SMEs”) and any parties that are unable to perform certain contractual obligations as a result of the restrictions that have been imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic — for lawyers, law firms, Government-linked companies (“GLCs”), public-listed companies (“PLCs”), SMEs, business chambers, and associations.
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) will be invited to officiate the launch of the Mediate First Campaign and to witness the online signing of the COVID-19 Mediate First Pledge by supporting law firms. GLCs, PLCs, SMEs, corporations, business chambers and associations will be invited to sign the Mediate First Pledge in due time.
Management of COVID-19 disputes continue to be a source of concern for many, and lawyers have a vital role to play in resolving disputes efficiently to enable involved parties to be able to restart their businesses.
The COVID-19 Mediate First Campaign has the privilege of the Government’s support where Mediate First Law Firms will be featured on the PMC-19 website and supporting lawyers may charge fair and reasonable rates as they wish when advising and representing parties in pre-action mediation. No lawyer or law firm is obliged to act or render (pre-action mediation) services for free.
A virtual “Mediate First” badge will be given to all law firms who sign the COVID-19 Mediate First Pledge. The “Mediate First” badge will signify the law firm’s support for swift problem-solving for COVID-19-related matters and the law firm’s participation in a first global mediation initiative of this nature.
How to manage COVID-19 disputes for Mediate First Law Firms?
- Lawyers and law firms are recommended to carry out preliminary assessments of the client’s legal position to advise on how to protect the client’s legal position and preserve evidence as well as strategise a mediation-first plan of action.
- Lawyers and law firms would then engage the counter-parties to encourage mediation first and assist to refer them to PMC-19 for mediation to facilitate negotiations for settlement. Counter-parties will be encouraged to consider or select a Mediate First Law Firm from the list of Mediate First Law Firms featured on the PMC-19 website.
- Lawyers and law firms will prepare client for mediation.
Any mediation matter referred to PMC-19 by a Mediate First Law Firm must have a lawyer who is deemed be in charge of the matter and is obliged to attend the mediation together with an authorised decision maker of the client. The PMC-19 protocol currently permits online mediation for parties represented by lawyers only. This recognises the important role that lawyers play in mediation and to preserve confidentiality.
Part of the ethical obligation for Mediate First Law Firms to ensure that no time and resources are wasted is that lawyers who appear for parties in these matters must be able to guide and help the client to make decisions without having to refer to more senior members of the firm. Lawyers must notify their counter-parties of who will be in attendance at the mediation. Pupils may not represent clients in mediation.
Law firms that sign the pledge will be featured on the PMC-19 website to enable PMC-19 unrepresented disputants looking for appropriate representation to seek mediation advisory assistance.
The duration of the Mediate First Pledge would be for the duration of the COVID-19 Act unless otherwise modified.
Members who are interested to sign the pledge under the Mediate First Campaign may click here (see page 3 onwards) to view the Mediate First Pledge for law firms and submit it by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Should you have any enquiries, please send us an email at email@example.com, or contact our MMC contact persons, Md Faizal Mahat (03-2050 2088) or Norashikin Kamarudin (03-2050 2107).
Kuthubul Zaman Bukhari and Abdul Fareed Gafoor
Another Initiative of the Bar Council for Members of the Bar (Pusat Mediasi COVID-19)
Friday | 27 Nov 2020
The Malaysian Government, via its Legal Affairs Division, has established a specialised mediation centre called Pusat Mediasi COVID-19 (“PMC-19”). The objective of PMC-19 is to provide an alternative dispute resolution platform for members of the public and Small and Medium Enterprises (“SMEs”) that are unable to perform certain contractual obligations as a result of the restrictions that have been imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. For more details on the PMC-19, please click here.
We are happy to announce to Members that the Malaysian Bar has entered into a contract with the Government and has been appointed by the Government to implement and manage PMC-19, including the appointment of accredited mediators from the Bar Council’s Malaysian Mediation Centre’s (“MMC”) panel. Under the PMC-19 initiative, mediators will receive a fixed fee for the mediation service that is provided.
To meet the demand for mediators in relation to providing the relevant mediation service, the Bar Council will be conducting a series of mediation training courses in the near future. We hope that Members will take part in this initiative and benefit from it.
In the meantime, we advise those Members who are not certified mediators but are interested in becoming one, to contact MMC at firstname.lastname@example.org or our MMC contact person, Md Faizal Mahat (Tel: 03-2050 2088) or Norashikin Kamarudin (Tel: 03-2050 2107) and avail yourself for the training which will be conducted periodically.
This is another initiative by the Bar Council to expand the scope of work available for Members of the Bar in these trying times.
A G KALIDAS