Second WAGNER Arbitration Lecture with Stephan Breidenbach

Dispute Resolution

Second WAGNER Arbitration Lecture with Stephan Breidenbach

17. April 2018

Last Thursday, Prof. Stephan Breidenbach gave the Second WAGNER Arbitration Lecture at our office. As the critical and innovative dispute resolution thought leader that he is, the topic of his lecture was „Dispute Resolution 4.0“.

Unlike you would expect, Prof. Breidenbach did not so much address innovation in the field of dispute resolution through artificial intelligence and modern technology, but rather by proposing the use of certain mediative and other ADR tools in structured proceedings.

Vizualized Rule-Mapping

While starting out by differentiating between the concepts of rights-based and interest-based mediation, Prof. Breidenbach focused on visualized “rule-mapping”, which he suggested to use either as an additional feature within classic arbitration and court proceedings or within non-binding legal evaluations as an independent instrument, thereby helping the parties to fully grasp the legal framework of their dispute.

Rapid Prototyping

In addition, inspired by design thinking, Prof. Breidenbach recommended the technique of “rapid prototyping” to explore possible zones of agreement between disputants in court or arbitration proceedings as a result of their pleadings. He found this to be in line with the basic tasks of an arbitrator or judge as decision maker, as he would not actively conciliate or mediate between the disputants but simply summarize their pleadings and proposals, thereby empowering them to consider a settlement at their initiative only.

Hot Tubbing

Prof. Breidenbach also strongly pleaded in favor of the use of so-called “expert hot-tubbing” when it comes to fact finding through experts. He argued that properly moderating the debate led by party-appointed experts on factual issues, again by using certain visualization techniques, would increase the chances of bringing the relevant factual issues to the surface and to everyone’s attention.

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He expected that by employing such techniques, court and arbitration proceedings would be reduced as to their time and costs by roughly 70%, a percentage likely to increase in the future in light of developments in the fast moving legal tech market.

We wish to thank Prof. Breidenbach for his academic contribution to our dispute resolution practice and for helping us establish what has now become a tradition: The WAGNER Arbitration Lecture.

About Prof. Breidenbach

Prof. Breidenbach is an avant-gardist of ADR in Germany and beyond. We are in regular contact with him as regards the potential of innovating dispute resolution as part of our practice and within the industry. We feel very privileged for this connection and are thankful for his mentorship.

Stephan Breidenbach works as a university lecturer, mediator and entrepreneur. He holds the Chair of Civil Law, Civil Procedure Law and International Business Law at the University of Viadrina, he is also a professor of mediation at the University of Vienna and has worked as a guest professor and lecturer at the Renmin University in Beijing, the Alps-Adriatic University of Klagenfurt and the University of St. Gallen. He was co-founder and dean of the Humboldt-Viadrina School of Governance in Berlin.

Stephan Breidenbach was active as a business mediator in the mid-1990s, particularly in the case of clashes between large companies and public spaces, as an arbitrator in domestic and international business disputes and as a consultant in large-scale proceedings. He is an arbitrator at the CAS (Court of Arbitration of Sports). In 2002, Stephan Breidenbach was awarded the Socrates Prize for Mediation.

As an EU consultant to the governments in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Croatia and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, he was responsible, among other things, for the harmonization of the Czech banking, insurance and capital markets. In 2011/12, Stephan Breidenbach was the coordinator of the topic “How do we want to learn?” in the “Zunkunftsdialog” of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Stephan Breidenbach is a co-founder of, knowledgeTools International GmbH and Blue Economy Solutions. Together with Gerald Hüther and Margret Rasfeld, he founded the “Schule im Aufbruch” initiative:

Stephan Breidenbach is married to the anthropologist, author and internet entrepreneur Joana Breidenbach and has two children – Lilian and Vico.

Über den Autor

Dr. Philipp K. Wagner, LL.M.

Dr. Philipp K. Wagner ist seit 2005 in Berlin als Rechtsanwalt und in New York als Attorney-at-Law zugelassen. Von 2005 bis zur Gründung von WAGNER Arbitration im Jahr 2013 war er als Anwalt in einer mittelständischen überregionalen Wirtschaftsrechtskanzlei tätig, zuletzt mehrere Jahre als Partner.

Über Wagner Arbitration

Die Kanzlei WAGNER Arbitration hat ihren Sitz in Berlin und ist auf gerichtliche und außergerichtliche Streitbeilegung mit Schwerpunkt Schiedsgerichtsbarkeit spezialisiert. Eine weitere Kernkompetenz ist die Beratung im nationalen und internationalen Wirtschaftsrecht.

Seit der Gründung im Jahr 2013 steht WAGNER Arbitration als kompakte Einheit für ein Höchstmaß an Vertraulichkeit und persönlichem, lösungsorientiertem Engagement. Dank unserer Mehrsprachigkeit und unseres weltweiten und interdisziplinären Netzwerks können wir komplexe Wirtschaftsstreitigkeiten und Transaktionen umfassend auf Deutsch, Englisch und Französisch betreuen.