Cristina Coto

Arbitration increasing in popularity, but mediation ‘can be much more effective’ – Ruiz Gallardón Abogados

The popularity of arbitration as a means of resolving disputes increased in 2017, according to Cristina Coto, partner at Ruiz Gallardón Abogados.


However, she warns that the long-term damaging effects of disputes are always severe. “Whether arbitration or litigation, whether with a supplier or a competitor, conflict is never a good thing, and it affects a company’s competitiveness,” Coto says.
For this reason, Coto argues that mediation can be a much more effective solution. “If mediation manages to enter the corporate culture, that would be extremely positive,” Coto says. “Ideally, clients should see mediation as an authentic solution and not merely as a procedure.”
Coto says an important role for a litigator is to “help clients to see the true dimension of the problem, and guide them to get the best solution, which sometimes means reaching a settlement”. This is the only strategy by which litigation departments can hope to win and retain clients, she adds. “There is no better formula for winning customers than earning their trust,” Coto says.
Meanwhile, third party funding of litigation is one of the new trends impacting on the global legal industry and it has now found its way to Spain, though clients should still consider mediation as an effective means of resolving disputes, says Coto.
Such a trend is having the effect of changing the litigation landscape in Spain, according to Coto. This “eruption of third party funding” provides claimants with the means for pursuing a claim they may not have otherwise had, she says. “It is a phenomenon that has been common in certain jurisdictions – such as the UK and the US – for some time, and it is now on the rise in Spain, particularly in relation to international disputes.”