The judge and the arbitrator, by applying the law, have to cut through the knot that the parties have tugged tight through their insistence on their positions and arguments, fueled by the adversity of the proceedings; it is about right and wrong.

The mediator invites the parties to stop tugging, to pause and re-focus on their respective interests, helping them to address what is underlying the conflict – and maybe untie the knot, by becoming creative again to find an arrangement that actually suits both of them. The parties keep control of the outcome and can thus take responsibility for their future relations, risks and opportunities.”

Building on his rich practice of settling international business disputes as an arbitrator, Jan Kleinheisterkamp has started to expand his expertise in alternative dispute resolution from international arbitration to mediation in 2019, when he undertook the CEDR Mediator Skills Training in London, which focused on commercial arbitration. In 2020, “following a highly competitive selection process” he was appointed by the UK Government to the World Bank’s ICSID Panel of Conciliators in what was described by the UK Department of International Trade as “the UK’s first open competition for appointments to these panels”. He also absolved a special training course on investor-state mediation organized by the World Bank’s International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

In order to broaden his horizon, he trained as a general mediator from 2020 to 2022 in Brussel with Trialogues and has been accredited in 2023 by the Belgian Federal Commission for Mediation as “médiateur agréé”. This allows settlement agreements mediated by him to directly recognized and be made enforceable by Belgian courts in accordance with Art. 1733 of the Belgian Judicial Code. He is accredited for mediation civil and commercial, employment and family matters.

Since 2021, he regularly assists parties as mediator in international disputes to find the best possible solutions, often co-mediating with other specialized and experienced colleagues. He also teaches a module on International Mediation at Trialogues.